A couple has created a Kaufmann House-inspired design using a map-based modular design system by mishack. 

modular architecture


The conceptual framework for the project was the result of two main key drivers.

Spatially, the layout needed to be able to adapt as the needs of this family of two adults and three young children changed over time. Eventually, the parents will build over the rear carport to create their separate retreat and hand over the main house to the growing brood. The shack uses simple, easy-flow layouts with seamless integration of main indoor and outdoor areas to allow easy expansion, and enable a multiplicity of uses depending on climate, activity or event.

However, the house also needed to capture the spirit of the mid-century modern aesthetic, inspired by the clients’ love of the infamous Kaufmann House and American Diner styled breakfast booths. 

Other drivers included a desire for an open living area flooded in natural daylight and seamless integration with the main outdoor living area. A central passage acts as a simple access spine, delineating and connecting private and communal spaces with an easy transition, and the northern orientation of the main indoor and outdoor living spaces allows them to naturally flood with daylight as the day and seasons permit. Due to the site’s excellent solar north orientation and the longest sides of the lot being the north and south flanks, a solar passive design was the natural choice and made efficient use of the site.

The clients were adamant about not wanting a typical double garage in front of the house. Therefore, a laneway to the side of the house was created, doubling as landscaping. Only the tyre runs were paved, to allow access to the double carport at the rear, as well as a space for a small boat. 

Stylistically, clean crisp lines and low pitched roofs were the order of the day. mishack’s modular design system already incorporated these elements, allowing for an easy contextual fit. A tip-of-the-hat acknowledgement to the vertical steel screening of the Kaufmann House is given via the vertical steel screening at the front. 


mishack is able to create budget-conscious architecture through simple modular layouts, simple construction methods and a ‘middle of the market’ approach to fixtures, fittings and finishes. This project (dubbed McGunnigle Shack) is a large house with extensive external areas under cover and a novel entry statement. It encompasses some 415sqm of overall built area under cover, and was completed for an overall square metre rate of just $1,690. 


  • Ext Walls - Lysaghts TRIMWALL® 
  • Ext Walls - COLORBOND® steel colours Shale Grey™ 
  • Ext Walls - COLORBOND® steel Monument® 
  • Ext Walls & Fascias - Scyon™ Matrix™ cladding
  • Ext Feature Wall - Dulux Design Rust Effect on
  • Scyon™ Matrix™ cladding
  • Roof - Lysaghts TRIMDEK®
  • Main Int Walls & Ceilings - Gyprok Plasterboard
  • Main Floors - Honed Concrete
  • External Paving - Exposed Agg
  • Aluminum Framed External Doors + Windows in powder-coated finish to match COLORBOND® steel colours Shale Grey™
  • Issy Glide Wall Hung Vanity Unit Double Bowl 4 Drawers
  • Ext Steel Columns finished in Penetrol Aluminium Anti-Corrosion Treatment