This designer shack is an off-grid tropical dreamscape.
After becoming infatuated with the Bahamian island of Eleuthera, two Miami architects decided to buy land and build a house there. Due to the remote 176-square-mile island’s limited resources, the married couple — who together run Brillhart Architecture — decided to construct the cottage in their Florida backyard, then ship it 256 miles to Eleuthera.
“I had more tools and more capabilities in Miami than I did out there on the island at that time, where we had no power and no water,” Jacob Brillhart explained to Insider.
The life and project partners decided to build the hut’s frame first, ship it, then work with a local to put together the property’s outer shell. The process ended up taking five years of planning and less than five weeks of assembly work, with the foundation and first floor completed in just 10 or so days, and the second floor and roof done in roughly three weeks.
Despite the length of the whole process, the overeager duo still couldn’t wait to start living in their approximately 600-square-foot escape.
“We moved in way before we should have,” Melissa Brillhart told Insider. “My daughter Simms was 3 months old when she first stayed there, and it was just plywood. There was just maybe a sink in there, with a bathroom, and that was about it.”
By early 2021, the space was finalized and more than livable — at least, for those seeking solitude and nature more than state-of-the-art amenities. The stove and hot-water heater run on propane gas that needs to be filled up at a nearby gas station and the waste system involves a septic tank and drain field, the Brillharts told Insider.
The pair are so happy with the finished product, they’ve begun using it not as a vacation home, as they initially intended, but as a satellite office while they work on more business in the Bahamas.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.