A compact cabin by Branch Studio Architects makes a minimal impact on its environment

Architecture Interiors International Sustainability
OPEN LIVING ROOM. (COURTESY BRANCH STUDIO ARCHITECTS)

OPEN LIVING ROOM. (COURTESY BRANCH STUDIO ARCHITECTS)

In rural Victoria, Australia, a local firm Branch Studio Architects designed Pump House, a shed-like home that stores a water pump, farming equipment, and, sometimes, the clients, when they visit their horse, George.

LAKESIDE PUMP HOUSE. (COURTESY BRANCH STUDIO ARCHITECTS)

LAKESIDE PUMP HOUSE. (COURTESY BRANCH STUDIO ARCHITECTS)

Pump House is built of plywood, corrugated sheeting, rough-sawn timber, and other low-cost materials. The unfinished plywood and timber clad the interior, which consists of an open living room and kitchen, separated from a bedroom and studio by a bathroom. Since the kitchen wraps the bathroom walls, there is one, central services core.

CORRUGATED IRON PANELS. (COURTESY BRANCH STUDIO ARCHITECTS)

CORRUGATED IRON PANELS. (COURTESY BRANCH STUDIO ARCHITECTS)

The house is also minimal in environmental impact. It is oriented North-South to absorb the winter sun, and all energy and fuel are provided from off-grid sources. For instance, solar panels provide power, rainwater tanks supply water, and a wood-burner gives-off heat.

The exterior is wrapped in black, corrugated, iron panels. Since the front and rear walls are glazed floor-to-ceiling, the clients have tree-house-like views of the lake, greenery, and George. In the summer, these windows and doors are opened for cross-ventilation, a natural way to cool the house.

This craftsmanship, layout, and landscape allow Pump House, a small, cozy home, to have a sense of spaciousness.

LAKESIDE PUMP HOUSE. (COURTESY BRANCH STUDIO ARCHITECTS)

LAKESIDE PUMP HOUSE. (COURTESY BRANCH STUDIO ARCHITECTS)

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