Thousand Lakes Lodge

TypeWilderness LodgeLocationLiawenee, TasmaniaClientMarcos AmbroseYear2017StatusCompletedArchitectCumulus StudioImagesSonya Ambrose | Alice

Positioned on the edge of Lake Augusta, Liawenee, Thousand Lakes Lodge is the gateway to the Tasmanian alpine and World Heritage wilderness Area.

The project involved the revival of a derelict former Antarctic training facility destined for demolition.

In keeping with best environmental practices, the design of Thousand Lakes Lodge is focused on minimal site impact. To achieve this, Cumulus Studio designed all of the new uses of the site to be constructed within the existing building envelope. Minimal work has been undertaken to the exterior of the building. This is a deliberate response to emphasise the contrast between the new interior and the existing exterior – the distressed condition a testament to the harsh environment in which the building is located. Much of the project involved consultation with various building performance consultants to integrate new services, thermal and acoustic treatments to the existing building to meet current building requirements.

Existing mezzanine bunk rooms were reorganised to create new accommodation rooms with ensuites. Additional accommodation rooms were integrated into the ground floor, with upgraded kitchen and amenities to support the existing main lounge and bar area and an additional new multipurpose lounge space all created within the existing building envelope.

A deliberate design decision throughout was to do as little as necessary to control budget and maintain the existing ‘bones’ of the building. Additional window openings were inserted carefully to allow more light in without interrupting the original rhythm of partitioned single skin log cladding. Externally the building has been left in original condition still bearing the scars of a harsh alpine climate. Internally, dark painted surfaces are used to settle and contain visitors from the often windy and exposed environment.

Here, visitors to the Lodge can smell the crisp air, feel spongy moss underfoot, taste the fresh stream water, touch the ancient dolerite boulders, and see the wildlife and ever changing weather.