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Marra Marra Shack by Leopold Banchini Architects

Marra Marra Shack tightly follows its site’s sloping contours, teetering downward and opening generously to the nearby creek. Leopold Banchini Architects repurposes local hardwoods and creates a restful home, taking an environmentally and culturally conscious approach to design.

Sited among a distinct location, Marra Marra Shack was approached with a considerate sensibility. Located in Berowra along the same-named creek, the structure combines the rigour of an architectural home with a casual and rural vernacular. In engaging with the site, the home respects its off-grid location and embedded cultural and historical significance.

Built on the land of the Darug peoples, the resulting form respects the area and what lay before, integrating already fallen and milled timber elements in an effort to lessen the home’s overall impact.

With a layered past, the decision to repurpose 200-year-old electrical posts as pillars for the home adds to the home’s diverse narrative. With ceiling and flooring lined by spotted gum timber from the local area and repurposed Turpentine timber from a nearby jetty, the residence’s commitment to a lessened impact is further enhanced. Marra Marra Shack is primarily built from timber whilst a fire-resistant fibre cement sheeting encases the exterior layer of the form.

Accessed from higher ground, the form and the view of the surrounds reveal themselves on descent, with rooms situated to the side and the volume closely engaging the contour of the land. The final destination of the home is the living, dining and kitchen space, which becomes the gravitational centre of the home, where a sculptural fireplace sits suspended from the ceiling. With custom furniture and kitchen joinery built into the slope of the terrain, an oversized moveable glass façade invites engagement with natural light and the surrounds.

marra marra project leopold banchini

Marra Marra Shack is a self-sustaining quiet insertion, tucked away and unassuming. Leopold Banchini Architects captures the spirit of this significant place and treats the addition with due consideration, resulting in a distinct escape.

marra marra shake leopold banchini
off grid cabin marra marra shake
  • Words by Bronwyn Marshall
  • Architecture by Leopold Banchini Architects
  • Photography by Rory Gardiner
  • Build by Urbon Constructions
  • Interior Design by Leopold Banchini Architects
  • Engineering by Cantilever

written by : Bronwyn Marshall
17 Aug 2022
published in:

Gallery of Marra Marra Shack Project by Leopold Banchini Architects