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Cabin 2

Cabin 2 By Maddison Architects, Extending an existing 1960s log cabin, the new architecture is informed by and embedded into the landscape via the folding roof that reiterates the topography. This acts as a new type of landform continuous of the prevailing wind forces shaping the surrounding contorted Moonah trees, while the internal volume directly references the roof.

Cabin-2-By-Maddison-Architects-02-William-Watt-759x697 Cabin 2 / Maddison Architects

© William Watt

  • Situated amongst a dense collection of indigenous Moonah trees, on a sloping site, it responds to the site topography, orientation and vegetation. The addition provides a self-contained retreat with living spaces, storage, and an upstairs bedroom and ensuite.
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© William Watt

  • The site aims to minimise impact and emphasise a feeling of refuge and physical engagement. The structural timber frame is fully exposed both inside and out to convey both a structural and architectural honesty, with timber used as the main material to tie into the vegetation dominating the site.
Cabin-2-By-Maddison-Architects-06-William-Watt-759x506 Cabin 2 / Maddison Architects

© William Watt

The decision to use timber throughout this self-contained retreat was influenced by the contorting Moonah trees onsite. Cabin 2 features timber in multiple, sensitively used forms, including renewably sourced hardwood external cladding, FSC Chain of Custody certified plywood lining, and prefabricated laminated timber beams. This minimises wastage and cost, while also providing the warmth and colour palette that timber naturally has.

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© William Watt

Details of the house were resolved to convey a structural and architectural honesty with exposed laminated beams and continuation of timber linings and finishes throughout. Rather than being an added treatment, the interior surfaces carry the inherent nature of their component through with them, pushing an agenda of integral function between the outside and inside of the building.

Cabin-2-By-Maddison-Architects-11-William-Watt-759x485 Cabin 2 / Maddison Architects

© William Watt

“Cabin Two expresses a structural and architectural honesty that extends to every part of the project. By freeing Cabin Two from connecting to the existing 1960s log cabin, the architects have allowed it to respond to the site, its orientation and vegetation. This freedom has created a completely new set of geometries. When accessed from the garage, which grows out of the topography and opens to the views, Cabin Two appears as a closed and folded roof. The materials selected for the project convey an architectural and structural honesty that moves from the exterior to the interior. Externally the exposed laminated beams anchor the project to the site.”

Cabin-2-By-Maddison-Architects-14-William-Watt-759x427 Cabin 2 / Maddison Architects

© William Watt

“The possible complexity of the geometries created by folding forms have been embraced and simplified with a delightful and calm interior, achieved with the use of a simple and rigorous palette of natural materials. By carving the project into the site, intimate, well-planned spaces have been formed. These open up to the views and allow unique spaces for both connection and privacy.” – Australian Houses Awards’s Jury Citation

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© William Watt

Maddison Architects:

Cabin 2 is a self contained extension to an existing 1960s log cabin located in bay side Blairgowrie. The surrounding coastal Moonah woodland forgivingly hides a suburban-like density of houses and network of winding roads free of formed kerbs, gutters and footpaths.

Cabin-2-By-Maddison-Architects-18-William-Watt-759x494 Cabin 2 / Maddison Architects

© William Watt

The new architecture is informed by and embedded into this landscape. The folding roof grows out from the topography to act as a new type of landform. Its supporting pre-fabricated skeletal frame appears influenced by the prevailing wind forces that shape the surrounding Moonah trees. The roof directly reflects the internal volume, and the skeletal frame is fully exposed inside and out to convey a structural and architectural honesty. The monolithic plinth is purposefully part sunken into the land and hollowed out to emphasise a feeling of refuge and physical engagement with the site.

Cabin-2-By-Maddison-Architects-19-William-Watt-759x836 Cabin 2 / Maddison Architects

© William Watt

Project Data:

Project name: Cabin 2
Location: 54 William Rd, Blairgowrie, Victoria 3942, Australia
Coordinates: -38.366698, 144.780092

  • Type By Characteristic: Cabin / Hut, Contemporary House
  • Type By Site: Countryside / Suburb House
  • Type By Size: Small House – (51 sqm – 200 sqm)
  • Type By Materials: Wooden House

Site Area: 670 sqm
Building area: 80 sqm
Status: Built
Completion Year: 2013


  • 2014 – Australian Houses Awards – Category: House Alteration & Addition under 200 m2 – Winner
  • 2014 – Intergrain Timber Vision Award – Category: Residential Exterior – Commendation
  • 2014 – Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA Awards) – Category: Residential Single Dwelling – Highly Commended
  • 2014 – Australian Institute of Architects Awards – Australian AIA Awards VIC Chapter – Category: Residential Architecture > Houses (Alterations & Additions) – Shortlisted
  • 2014 – Australian Interior Design Awards – Category: Residential Design – Shortlisted

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Private
Architects: Maddison Architects – 1/98 Bank Street, South Melbourne Vic 3205, Australia
Project Team: Drew Carling, Amir Shayan

  • Builder: Frank Pty Ltd
  • Engineer: Perrett Simpson Stantin
  • Lighting: Masson for Light

Text Description: © Courtesy of Maddison Architects, Australian Houses Awards, architectureau
Images: © Maddison Architects, William Watt

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Cabin 2 / Maddison Architects
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