What do you design for a client who wants a space for everything? That was the question Aussie firm Branch Studio Architects faced confronted for one of their latest commissions, a pond-side studio retreat in Balnarring, Australia. Branch is no stranger to creating small, modern, waterfront dwellings, but The Retreat required a little architectural sleight of hand.
Made of ash wood slats, black steel, concrete, and glass, the building appears to hover just above the water. From the outside, it’s a minimalist box dominated by a wall of windows. But inside, the studio transforms into whatever space is needed. A daybed sunken into the concrete floor beside the window offers a relaxed view of the pond. The plywood paneling conceals other features that can be pulled out or tucked away at will.
A murphy bed folds down from the back wall, with curtain that can be pulled in front to make a simple bedroom space. A fold-out table can turn the room into an efficient office or dining area, with secret storage cabinets abound. A small kitchenette opposite the desk area is lined with brass, while a hidden door opens onto the stone-lined bathroom, topped by a skylight.