In the middle of Australia’s deepest lake, a historic industrial site has been reborn as Pumphouse Point, a charming getaway perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Designed by architecture firm Cumulus Studio, the boutique accommodation is the realization of tourism developer Simon Currant’s 18-year vision to thoughtfully and sustainably make a portion of Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area more accessible to travelers. The grounds comprise a collection of buildings, two of which were renovated from heritage-listed Art Deco buildings, originally part of the Hydro Electric scheme.
Originally constructed in 1940, the five-story pump house that was built as part of the state’s Hydro Electricity Scheme had been used to pump water from Lake St. Clair to the nearby St. Lake Lagoon. The building was decommissioned in the early ’90s and sat unused for decades. Today, the site has become home to a unique, 18-room boutique property that is housed in three buildings: the new-build “Retreat”, “The Pumphouse” and “The Shorehouse.” The latter two are refurbished historic buildings. The Shorehouse, which was the original Hydro substation, also includes a new dining and lounge extension.
In keeping with the values of the World Heritage Site, in which the property is located, the Cumulus team retained the existing buildings’ footprints and minimally modified the exteriors. In contrast, the interiors are strikingly contemporary yet still minimalist to keep focus on the outdoors. A neutral palette of timber and metal imparts a “rugged simplicity” that also alludes to the site’s history.
Due to Pumphouse Point’s remote location and the tight project budget, the architects turned to prefabrication and simple construction techniques to streamline the building process. In addition to spectacular views, Pumphouse Point guests can also enjoy nature walks, lake excursions, biking trails and more. Other than newborns and infants, the boutique property does not accommodate anyone under the age of 18.
Photography by Adam Gibson via Cumulus Studio