... And Horsing Around
For owner/carpenter/builder, Daniel Russo and his partner, Pump House was originally conceived as little more than a glorified shed -- a sheltered place for a cup of tea and some quality time with their horse, George.
With the help of architect/cousin, Nicholas Russo of Branch Studio Architects, the brief expanded to a completely self-sufficient guest house and a model for compact, off-grid living.
Despite the expanded brief, the humble ambitions of the original idea remain clear. Only now, Daniel and his partner can enjoy a sleepover with George, rather than just a cup of tea...
By George... George (the horse) is pleased he can spend more time with his owners now they have a comfortable place to stay.
Humble Off-Grid Home
Just 50 minutes from Melbourne, this elegantly simple house feels a world away from city life. And that's the point. The compact off-grid home is designed for a simpler style of living.
The house is simply constructed. Cocooned in brooding Monument® COLORBOND® steel it disappears into the landscape. Internally, plywood timber walls feel like a warm hug. Hardwearing materials and raw finishes combine to create a resilient, no-fuss retreat. It offers the perfect place for rest, relaxation and contemplation.
Simple, Affordable Planning
The floorplan is simple, but spacious. The kitchen wraps around the walls of the bathroom, creating a central services core that separates living and sleeping zones.
Given the simplicity of Pump House's construction and clarity of planning, it is an affordable model that could be adapted and built in other locations -- even inner-city locations.
Simplicity is the Key
The custom-made kitchen bench is raw and simple. Instead of concealing crockery and glassware behind doors, they are left on display -- a reminder to farm house kitchens and rustic charm.
“It is very much about simplicity, not only of architectural detail and construction, but also about simple living.” -- Architect Nicholas Russo
Self-Sufficient, Off-Grid Living
Being completely self-sufficient means no big-screen TVs and no wi-fi. When visiting the house, it's about disconnecting, relaxing, and getting in touch with nature -- particularly George.
The house is favorably oriented North-South which allows winter sun to stream in. The deep reveal of the north facing windows blocks summer sun and creates a small deck space. A small fire supplements the passive solar orientation to heat the house in winter. In summer windows and doors can be opened to encourage cross-ventilation to naturally cool the house.
Off-Grid Home a Model for Simple Living
More than just a guest house or holiday retreat, Pump House is an example of affordable, adaptable housing for simple living. This house could be recreated and placed in any number of locations, creating a model for off-grid living. The possibilities are endless -- and exciting.