Pump House is a small dwelling set within Victoria, Australia that was originally devised as a low-cost, rural retreat the owners could use to visit their horse. During the project it developed from what was essentially a farm shed to a fully equipped, off grid, small living space. The relatively simple structure was designed by Brand Studio Architects who were given the fairly straightforward brief to make use of budget materials such as the plywood which makes up the interior walls and the corrugated metal sheeting which comprises the exterior cladding.
To help the Pump House project maintain an even tighter budget, the structure was in fact built by the owner of the property who was a carpenter. This might explain the wood-galore material use which includes hardwood flooring throughout, the strip cladding which makes up the recessed sheltered decking and of course the striking full-sheet plywood walls and ceilings.
However the extensive use of wood and the budget surely slipped when it came to the floor to ceiling windows which make up both ends of Pump House which I should expect would have costed as much as the rest of the building put together. These expansive windows are marvellous though and really make this feel like a rural retreat with the views they offer over the surrounding fields. The positioning of the two windows at either ends of the building must also create a much welcomed through-breeze during those scorching Australian summer days.
As mentioned, Pump House was intended to operate off-grid and this has been achieved by making use of solar panels, rain water harvesting and a wood burning stove for heat during cool evenings and winters. A space to store firewood is situated below the main structure as pictured above. Off-grid living can be very sustainable but it also makes it possible to create a dwelling set within the most remote of places to where laying water pipes and electrical cables just wouldn’t be financially viable.
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