Mark and Sharon Cloutier’s Central Highlands’ shack is the perfect place to relax and unwind as well as being the ideal base from which to explore the tranquil area’s wild trout-filled lakes and streams, writes JARRAD BEVAN
Owners are rapt with their Highlands’ getaway.
WHEN Mark and Sharon Cloutier built their “wee weekender” in the Central Highlands it was a perfect base for everything they needed – from fly fishing to a simple lifestyle. Mark described it as paradise. “It was a ‘less is more’ philosophy,” he said.
“It also gave us the chance to pursue our passions of fly fishing, photography and writing.
“Our Highland Waters shack has become the base from which we explore the Highlands’ trout filled lakes and streams.”
When dreams of a weekender turned to the reality of how to make it happen, the couple chose a cost-effective modular design.
Mark said the building process was easy with no delays for bad weather or waiting on the fluctuating schedules of different tradesmen.
“It was an incredibly efficient way to build,” he said.
“It’s also low impact and environmentally friendly.”
Mark said they had built several houses before and wanted to try the modular concept – and it was great.
“A traditional build would take twice as long as our modular build,” he said.
“The modular approach was particularly helpful when you are building outside of a metropolitan area as was the case for us.”
Mark and Sharon chose JAWSarchitects to design their dream shack.
They met with Scott Verdouw, JAWS director, on site and walked the property to discuss their needs.
Mark said they wanted a small building that could easily move from a singlebedroom house with an open-plan living area to a two-bedroom house.
“Scott’s idea to achieve this was the use of a sliding wall,” Mark said.
“There is also an ensuite for each bedroom. It was important to us to have only a small impact on the site, to be environmentally conscious and to fit in with the Highland Waters’ building requirements.
“Another important feature is our coffee machine; very important!”
Above all else Mark said “the light” was a standout feature of their shack.
He said because the modular concept allowed them to have a smaller footprint, they could position themselves right in the forest.
“There is a certain tranquillity about that,” he said. “The light changes almost hourly.”
Mark said the combination of JAWS and their builder Mike Tiemens from Mako brought this project to life.
“JAWS were able to do a lot in a small space and suited what we were hoping to achieve ... and Mike, he was fantastic.”