Down Under Luxury: Back-To-Nature Retreat Gets Elegant


You may have fond memories of camping with your family, but chances are those memories weren’t made in a camping retreat as delightfully offbeat as this one.

The Drew House was designed by Simon Laws of Anthill Constructions as a luxury campsite for a family on the eastern Australian coast. Near a town called Seventeen Seventy, the structure sits amongst ancient trees near the start of the Great Barrier Reef.

Laws was inspired both by the pristine natural setting and by the residents’ own histories. Their families have strong ties to the sugar cane industry and they themselves fondly recall spending camping holidays in the area.

The luxury getaway’s cylindrical shape calls to mind the mill houses associated with Australia’s sugar mills. Its curved interior walls create a surprisingly cozy feeling inside.

Outside, the three separate pods that make up the residence – one for sleeping, one for living and a bath house – are unified by a large exterior living and dining area.

The exterior area is sheltered by two hardwood trusses covered with Aramax roof sheeting, giving a pleasant and somewhat-protected area to sit in and enjoy the long, lazy evenings.

One of the most striking elements of the Drew House is its harmony with its surroundings. The shape of the structure is unobtrusive and even reflective of its natural setting.

The materials used are as simple and as close to nature as possible: minimally finished, natural oiled hardwoods that seem at home both inside and outside the structure.

The Drew House’s design incorporates rainwater collection, solar panels, a passive energy design and other green features to make it largely self-sufficient.

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