Deep in the heart of Tasmania, local architects Cumulus Studio have created an extraordinary wilderness retreat from a pump house built in the 1940s for a hydro-electric scheme.

Pumphouse Point is on Lake St Clair, in Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area. Star features are 12 guest suites located in The Pumphouse itself, 250 metres out on the lake, linked to land and a second building, The Shorehouse, by a 250-metre open causeway.

The Shorehouse has a further six guest suites as well as a kitchen and communal lounge/dining room.

Cumulus Studio have left the external features of each building very much intact. Neither had been occupied for some 20 years and their semi-industrial heritage and concrete construction are celebrated in the final design. Their distressed external condition reflects the life these buildings have lived.

The internal design concept, say the architects is to "encapsulate rugged simplicity and unrefined comfort". You'll always be aware of your surroundings, and of the origins of the structure that you're in.

Guests enter The Pumphouse through heavy metal doors, to find the suites running down each side of the building, with a sight-line to a small lounge, and the open water, at the end of the structure. Rough-sawn hardwood and exposed piping of public areas gives way to Tasmanian timber veneer panelling and neutral colour palettes of the bedrooms themselves.

Built on a tight budget, under equally tight environmental constraints, Pumphouse Point is nothing short of a triumph. We'd book in tomorrow.

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