Kangaroo Valley Outhouse by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects | Yellowtrace

Kangaroo Valley Outhouse by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects | Yellowtrace

Kangaroo Valley Outhouse by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects | Yellowtrace

Kangaroo Valley Outhouse by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects | Yellowtrace

 

An outhouse isn’t typically associated with a luxurious bathroom experience, but this iteration by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects (MBA) in the Kangaroo Valley sits in a league of its own. Set in the bush, the bathroom was deliberately separated from the small cabin that it services, meant to mimic the experience of camping. Visitors must walk along a path down a low hillside and through a dense landscape, about 30m away from the accommodation.

As a mirrored cube elevated above the ground and nestled in vegetation, the outhouse completely disappears during the day. Only the subtle lines of the cube’s edges are visible, with the surfaces reflecting the lush and verdant landscape. From within the bathroom, glass walls ensure zero impediment to views of the surrounds. The sense of exposure this provokes plays on visitors’ sense of place, away from the confines and control of the city and immersed in nature. Due to the site’s location, there were no concerns regarding privacy, which MBA fully embraced.

The demountable outhouse gives minimal interruption to the landscape. Mirror was used to make the structure invisible and further lessen the obvious presence of architecture amongst the natural environment. Requiring careful engineering, the one-way mirror means the walls are see-through from the inside, but reflective externally. When light levels are high internally at night, the mirror becomes see-through from the outside too.

 

Related: Liquid Pavilion by DepA for the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, Portugal.

 

Kangaroo Valley Outhouse by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects | Yellowtrace

Kangaroo Valley Outhouse by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects | Yellowtrace

Kangaroo Valley Outhouse by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects | Yellowtrace

 

Large sheets of glass mirror, their fixing details, elevation above the natural ground and waterproofing were all significant challenges overcome through close collaboration with an engineer. The surrounding natural landscape was only subtly modified to create the walkway path and hide columns upon which the outhouse sits. Along with toilet, sink and shower, the cube contains a large freestanding bathtub.

The outhouse utilises sustainable technologies such as natural ventilation, solar powered lighting and grey water recycling / septic tanks. It has minimal contact with the ground and thanks to being demountable, can be easily removed and the land returned to its natural state at any time. The site is private property, but the cabin is available for rent to the public.

“The client’s desire to create a haven that not only provided a connection to the landscape but a place to truly escape and unwind was met through the design…The outhouse heightens the sense of place, makes one consider their location and the vulnerability of humans in the uncontrolled landscape,” concludes Madeleine Blanchfield.Click To Read Entire Post

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