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December 11, 2022

The Cutting by Small and Ample is a DIY pre-fab tiny home that encompasses sustainable living. Designed to shatter the idea that small homes cannot be generous, Aaron Shields, Director at Ample, and aspiring architect Nick Lane collaborate on The Cutting, a DIY pre-fab tiny home. Promoting a better future with the idea that less is more, the designers have provoked others to think outside the box when crafting residential projects. Looking over The Cutting, an area where the sea cuts into the sand dunes, the home provides plentiful living within its 30 square meters.

The house tour of the small home begins at arrival, with basalt pavers that lead up towards the DIY pre-fab tiny home. A set of steps – made from cow trough supports, reclaimed hardwood and perforated mesh salvaged from an old farm shed on the property – brings the occupants to the front door that pivots into the passive house. Once inside, the kitchen, dining and living spaces are infused with warm timbers and bamstone cobbles, which together pare back the interior and tie the cabin into the surrounding landscape.

At the south-western end of the DIY pre-fab tiny home, a double-glazed and steel window section with operable awnings allows for cross flow ventilation throughout the small home. Up on the mezzanine level, a study nook has been inserted into the floor and blurs the connection between upstairs and downstairs. To cooperate with Victorian road rules, Aaron and Nick needed to design to specific dimensions in order to make the DIY pre-fab tiny home transportable. After collapsing the roof by 1500 millimetres, the small home can then be moved to its new location and settled on the land.

With a hope to change the perception surrounding how homes can contribute to sustainability agendas, the designers use reclaimed materials. By doing so, every piece of furniture within the DIY pre-fab tiny home is built from reclaimed wood. The floor is recycled iron bark, while many of the other timber elements have been sourced from other structures. Futhermore, the designers have championed the idea of the Australian shed with the use of timber and metal on the exterior, reflecting the history of the landscape. Overall, Aaron and Nick have created a modest home with an unexpected perceived spatial generosity that celebrates the value of materials.

00:00 - Introduction to the DIY Tiny Home
00:36 - The Brief - Small but Generous
00:54 - Situated on a Patch of Farmland with Views of The Cutting
01:11 - A Tour of the Tiny Home
02:30 - The Challenges in Designing a Small and Transportable Home
03:14 - A Reclaimed and Recycled Material Palette
03:35 - Textural Materiality
03:52 - The Aussie Shed

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Photography by Derek Swalwell and Anthony Richardson at Simple Dwelling.
Interior Design and Build by Ample.
Building Design, Interior Design and Landscape by Small.
Electrical by Alex Pye Electrics.
Electrical by Southerly Electrical.
Structural Engineering by Greening Structural and Civil Engineers.
Filmed and Edited by The Local Project.
Production by The Local Project.

The Local Project acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of the land in Australia. We recognise the importance of Indigenous peoples in the identity of the country and continuing connections to Country and community. We pay the respect to Elders, past and present and extend that respect to all Indigenous people of these lands.

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