Originally a five-storey pumphouse built in 1940 to house water turbines for Tasmania’s Hydro-Electric Commission, the art deco building at the end of a 230-metre-long flume at Pumphouse Point was heritage listed in 2002.
Located on Lake St Clair within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Architectural firm Cumulus Studio was given the task of transforming two historical sites, ‘The Pumphouse’ and ‘The Shorehouse’, into a boutique hotel.
“Our overall aim was to minimise any potential impact of the redevelopment on the World Heritage Area,” said the architects.
Embracing its industrial heritage and exposure to the elements, the exterior was left unembellished – new windows sit behind the original metal frames, steel pipe handrails with peeling paint and encrusted lichen line the long walkway.
Inside, a muted colour palette of soft greys, timbers and warm whites contrast with veneered Tasmanian oak, wrought copper pipes and untreated timber cladding. Renovated original bay windows become a dramatic focal point with the jaw-dropping vista and ever-changing lake surface taking centre stage.
Material and product selection was an integral part in keeping with the designer’s focus of environmental stewardship and sustainability. Natural materials were favoured where possible making wool carpet the only choice.
Feltex Stefano 100% wool carpet in a multi-level loop pile in Shale brings a warm and neutral tone that complements the wild and wonderful landscape. The chunky texture blends well with the industrial elements while the softness of wool brings a luxurious simplicity to the interior.
Peter Walker of Cumulus Studio says of the design intentions, “The environment is so wild, and the building is so raw that we wanted to bring people into the hotel in a gradual way, revealing stories of the buildings’ past where we can as part of the journey.”
What better way to spend a wild and wintery holiday? Floating out above Australia’s deepest lake, isolated and immersed in wilderness.
Project: Pumphouse Point, Tasmania
Location: Pumphouse Point Rd, Lake St Clair, Tasmania
Architect and Design: Cumulus Studio
Photography: Adam Gibson
Carpet: Stefano in colour Shale
Builder: Mead Con