The Grampians Peaks Trail, also known as the GPT, is a 160-kilometer walking path that stretches across Grampians National Park, a wilderness region that's part of the Gariwerd Aboriginal cultural landscape in Australia's Victoria province. The terrain is rugged, and recommended for experienced "bushwalkers" with landmarks like Mt. Difficult and Mt. Abrupt marking the way. It was with that landscape in mind that multidisciplinary design firm McGregor Coxall created 10 campsites and one group site for hikers passing through.
McGregor Coxall dreamed up the new sites in conjunction with Parks Victoria to function as communal hiker shelters, amenities pods, and camp huts. The campsites are minimalist and simplistic in design, part of which came from an awareness of their remote location and what that means for upkeep.
Another key element was the landscape itself—not only are there breathtaking views, but each cabin is designed with ecotourism in mind. Park Victoria made an effort to take into account spatial topology and the ecology of the surrounding area to ensure each site offers some form of cultural immersion, the goal being that hikers might feel a connection with the Aboriginal peoples like the Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung people who have lived on the land for thousands of years.
With this rich history in mind, the cabins were constructed with breezy, open floor plans. They use a slatted pergola system, allowing copious amounts of natural light in via a sun blade roof. With a series of cross-section beams, this system also uses 98% less wood than a normal structure, making it more environmentally friendly. The wood itself was produced by Scandinavian supplier Lunawood, who specializes in producing Thermowood, a sustainable and environmentally friendly building material.
The final effect is that the structures provide shelter that, instead of acting as a barrier between hikers and the environment, keeps them immersed in it.