Greetings from Australia! 🙂
Named after the serial number of one of its container building blocks, Outpost 7427139 measures a modest 40-square-metres, but sleeps six and has two bathrooms.
This is a container based mountain bike retreat. It is located on the edge of a steep heavily wooded valley on the way to the Hunter Valley from Sydney. When Mountain Bike Company originally opted to build Outpost 7427139 with shipping containers, the rationale was purely financial. With a final price tag of $260,000, the project certainly proved to be budget-friendly. But the benefits didn’t stop there.
Armed with a modest brief to design a container rest stop for mountain-biking adventurers, Architect Drew Heath tackled the project with an environmental sensibility and an aesthetic flair that turned a humble idea into an award-winning architectural feat. Perched atop a precarious cliff top in the Central Coast Hinterland, the biker basecamp takes in sweeping views of the bush valley below.
The difficult terrain, the possibility of relocating the building, the ever present fire risk and the need for security for the bikes made the use of containers seem a good idea. The hierarchy of the plan is the kitchen and living container get prime view, the bedrooms next as they look east and west and the storage and bathroom container last. The whole project is covered by a large skillion that allows the outdoor spaces to be used in most weather; it collects necessary water and protects the containers from the sun and degradation.
The front unit houses the kitchen; it has a cantilevered deck on hydraulic hinges that closes to seal the container from the elements. The central unit contains three bedrooms, with pivoting doors at each end, while the rear container houses two bathrooms and a storage area.
Heath sourced three shipping containers from Port Container Services to provide the strong foundation of the site, and refitted each container with modern new doors and openings.
The eco-friendly bush retreat is fully self-sufficient – the steel roof collects rainwater which is stored in three tanks, while wastewater is treated in a nearby septic system. Rooftop solar panels generate and store enough solar power to run a small fridge and LED lights. Given the building’s scrubland setting, bushfire resistance was a crucial design consideration, but in contrast with its steel exterior, all interior surfaces and joinery including shelves and light fittings are made from plantation hardwood plywood.
As an additional feature, should the proprietor ever wish to relocate, the bolted together steel frame can be easily dismantled, and the containers transported. The building touches the ground in just 8 places with 3 of these simply bolted to existing rock. The exterior is an exercise in lean, neat and prefabricated exposed steelwork. It is fully off the grid and has a durability to it that would suggest it could go anywhere.This project was awarded a ‘Sustainable Award’ at NSW AIA Awards in 2013.
So what do you think? Would you live here? 🙂