BareStone cladding from Cemintel™ was used to capture the heritage character of a new boutique hotel developed on an old pumphouse site in Lake St Clair in Tasmania.

Cemintel’s BareStone was used to capture the theme, history and essence of the pumphouse project as well as revitalise the original aesthetic of the old hydro-electric pump site, which would have been extremely challenging to achieve with conventional materials.

Built in the 1940s to power the local hydropower system, the five-storey pumphouse sits at the end of an 800-foot jetty in Lake St Clair, Tasmania. When it went out of service in the 1990s, several promoters including tourism developer, Simon Currant saw the opportunity presented by the pumphouse to blend local heritage with the iconic wilds of Tasmania in an unforgettable visitor experience.

After ten years of work, Simon’s dream became a reality on 1 January 2015 when the Pumphouse Point boutique hotel opened its doors. Protected for its significant industrial heritage, the boutique hotel provides 18 rooms for guests to experience one of the country’s most stunning natural environments from the middle of Australia’s deepest lake.

Architect Peter Walker of Cumulus Studio took on the task of redeveloping both the pumphouse located at the end of the jetty and its neighbouring lakeshore building, now known as The Shorehouse. Conscious that the design had to be respectful of the site’s history as well as Simon’s extended efforts to bring it back to life, Walker began work on a brief that called for an emotional reaction to the original Pumphouse Point.

Cumulus selected building materials that would create a sense of nostalgia around the heritage area while recreating a unique, modern experience for guests. Confident they could successfully reinvent the site within their modest budget, the team prioritised the elements that would really impress visitors.

The design focused on creating a thoroughly unique wilderness experience for guests, allowing them to go on a journey of the site’s history and landscape. The connection with the dramatic vistas through many of the hotel’s floor-to-ceiling windows allows guests to immerse themselves in the beauty of the surrounding national park and lake.

Walker chose materials that reflected the original look of the site and its natural setting. He also retained many of the site’s original fixtures including the steel window frames, interior and exterior doors, and concrete walls and floors.

One such material that enabled old and new elements to connect seamlessly was Cemintel’s BareStone cladding, a raw, hardy product with a simple, cement texture finish that referenced the Pumphouse’s industrial background.

Cemintel’s BareStone cladding was used in a unique application through some of the newly introduced elements in the hotel’s design. Showcasing an alternative use for lightweight cladding, Cumulus integrated BareStone into splashbacks for the guestroom kitchenettes and bedheads.

According to Walker, they’d seen Cemintel products used in other designs and wanted to include it in many of their past projects. When they started working on Pumphouse Point, they knew BareStone would help them create the raw, natural look that reflected the industrial heritage of the building while also providing a product that was easy for the client to maintain.

Since opening its doors on 1 January 2015, Pumphouse Point has been widely praised by customers. The hotel won the 2015 Gustav Award for New Tourism Business at the Tasmanian Tourism Awards and took home the New Tourism Business Award at the 2015 Australian Tourism Awards. Pumphouse Point also won the Commercial Architecture Award at the 2015 Tasmanian Architecture Awards.

Image: Pumphouse Point boutique hotel: The pumphouse sits at the end of an 800-foot jetty on Lake St Clair