When I hear the words "beach house" I think of a small shack down the coast close to the water and within driving distance of the nearest pub. That's not at all the case for 'Hart House', a contemporary Australian beach cabin built at Great Mackerel Beach on Sydney's Pittwater that's only accessible by boat.

Designed by Rob Brown of Casey Brown Architecture with construction by Moneghittie Built, this impressive construction is built on an 8x8 metre plot and features two levels, with a corrugated iron roof that wraps around the entire house to protect it from fire and help with water flow to nearby rainwater tanks. 

The main room comprises of a dining, kitchen and living area, with a small bathroom and pantry to the back. The room is double the height of a standard room and creates an open and airy feel and enables spectacular ocean views. Below this living space is the master bedroom which opens onto a sandstone terrace made from materials sourced from the island. 

The interior includes birch plywood walls, timber flooring and concrete benches, with spotted gum used both internally and externally as flooring, decking and to construct the doors and windows. The natural colours tie in with the bush environment surrounding the home and give it a warm feel.

As the property can only be accessed by boat there is limited electricity and none of the usual perks found at your average holiday home. For this, reason there is a significant array of solar panels and a sophisticated water collecting system, while waste is processed on site by the occupants and picked up weekly by the council. 

Hart House is all about 'less is more', and while not everyone's cup of tea, we wish there were more like it. Get us off the grid any day of the week.

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