Branch Studio Architects' clients wanted a place to store their water pump and other equipment needed to maintain their farm in rural Victoria, Australia. And they got it. Of course, in the deal they also ran away (figuratively) with a dreamy lakeside hut that's just about perfect for writing the next great Australian novel or a memoir or perhaps a really good folk album. The exterior is an uninspired corrugated iron, but the structure's glass walls and pared back plywood interiors make Pump House conspicuous in its designedness, particularly when it's all floating above the grasses and reflected in a glass plate of the surrounding wetland. As it stands, it's about the perfect place for the clients to, as the project brief states, "have a cup of tea when they came to hang out with George, their horse, on the weekends."
Architect Nicholas Russo acknowledges that the shed "developed into something slightly more extravagant" than the original plan, but insists "the modesty of the original ambition is still evident in the 'no-frills' detailing and rugged materiality of the finished building." Pump House's interiors, described by Russo as "soft, warm, [and] cocoon-like," are clad entirely in unfinished, low-grade plywood and timber boards. Furnishings are similarly sparse; there's a wood stove, a dining table, and a few bits of seating in the living area and a bedroom abutting one of the glass walls in a closed-off corner, but that's about it. It all works out though: like a good wine, creative musings (and folk albums) need time and space to breathe.
Want to see more spaces to be a hermit in? Well, you've come to the right place. There's a smorgasbord of options for living like a modern-day Thoreau here and here.
· Pump House by Branch Studio Architects is a metal-clad lakeside retreat [Dezeen]
· All The Great Outdoors posts [Curbed National]