Architect-designed tiny house helping farmers

Linda Cheng
MvS Architects has teamed up with start-up enterprise Shacky to create tiny houses that will provide holiday-makers with an up-close experience of regional Australia, while also giving farmers an additional source of income.

Shacky is the brainchild of Joep Pennartz. The idea sparked after a short, rainy weekend stay in a small cabin in Warburton in regional Victoria.

“There was absolutely nothing apart from a bed and a toilet. We stayed in that hut for just two or three-nights but it made us feel so relaxed it really felt like we had a two-week holiday,” Pennartz said.

Shacky was born from a desire to connect people with remote properties around Australia, which are often owned by farmers “who are struggling to make ends meet,” Pennartz said.

“We thought if they were able to use that land to rent out accommodation to tourists, they could make a bit of extra money and the tourists would gain a new appreciation of that farming land. That connection was very important in the initial Shacky.”

In 2016, Pennartz began a crowdfunding campaign that resulted in an initial prototype for Shacky made and installed on a sheep farm in the Otways, in south-eastern Victoria. The tiny house was rented out to holiday-makers and their feedback then informed the design of a new prototype by MvS Architects.

The new Shacky will be a timber-framed structure designed to make the most of regional settings.

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