I know many people that prioritise wealth and material possessions above anything else. It is true we live in a consumer-driven world and are influenced by clever marketing strategies. As a designer, I can appreciate quality, innovation and meticulous craftsmanship. However, precious time spent with my son and close friends is much more important to me. A lot of my memories are created within the home environment and that I’ve always had a passion for architecture. Presently I am writing my 7th book for Schiffer publishing about modernistic contemporary homes. One of the selections is called Lost Whiskey Concrete Cabin by US-based company Greenspur. This sensational dwelling, which is located in Marshall Virginia, is named after two local landmarks (Whiskey Hollow and Lost Mountain).

Over the years I have written several books about architecture and have featured some extraordinary properties. In my ‘Modern Masters’ and ‘Luxury Design for Living’ books I focused on residential homes that are reserved for the rich. However, in times of global austerity publisher have requested more diversity. For example, more most scale houses on smaller budgets and restricted sites. Certainly, Lost Whiskey Concrete Cabin answers all these questions and retains an enormous amount of design integrity. At only 160 square feet, this is one of the smallest homes I have featured on my website.

With utility bills increasing (especially in South Australia) living off the grid is very enticing prospect indeed. The concept of Lost Whiskey Concrete Cabin was to create a self-sufficient dwelling. This has been achieved by solar panels, a large open fire (which heats the hot tub), and a compost toilet. The aesthetic is bordering on brutalism because of the choice of materials like raw unfinished concrete, exposed steel, reclaimed timber and glass. Due to the diminutive size, Greenspur has had to custom make most of the internal fittings.

Clearly, this was a very challenging project because the plot is situated on the side of a mountain. Large concrete panels had to be delivered in the winter months and as you could imagine access was really restricted. On top of the builders had to drill a well over 700 feet deep to get water to the site. However, in my opinion, the overall result definitely justifies the means. This is an ideal retreat and the surrounding views are absolutely exceptional.

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