Ponderosa by Cumulus the luxury tourism pods


Cumulus architecture and design studio is proud to share Ponderosa, a collection of five luxury tourism pods and an adapted stone-walled cottage set in South Australia’s picturesque Fleurieu Peninsula. Located south of Adelaide near the coastal towns of Victor Harbour and Port Elliot, Cumulus approached the project as six individual designs, carefully considering the diverse characteristics, aspects, and attributes to provide a distinct experience for each location.

“As our first major tourism project in SA, I feel that we’ve achieved something fairly ambitious for Ponderosa alongside our client,” explains the Cumulus Associate Architect and project lead, Jet O’Rourke. “Instead of creating a uniform set of cabins, we designed each one pod as a different getaway experience for guests, offering a different way of connecting with their surroundings — the views, the flora and fauna — which you can do both from outside and inside of the pods”, he added.

Each pod, ideally suited for two people, is privately nestled among stone outcrops and grazing pastures with views of the Southern Ocean. The finely crafted interiors include a king size bed, kitchenette, and a luxurious bathroom promoting a sense of warmth and enclosure. To link the distinct designs, we selected surface charred timbers for the predominant exterior cladding.

External baths and covered outdoor areas also allow guests to calmly connect with the landscape. The five forms range from the angular Eucalyptus tunnel pod, which takes inspiration from the local vegetation of Hindmarsh Valley, In the round, featuring exposed concrete culverts that create a sense of continuation of the landscape from within the pod, and the larger Split level, a two-storey pod that can accommodate up to four guests.

Ponderosa’s additional five-bedroom Cottage has been adapted to mimic the gabled roof forms of the original structure in a contemporary manner, offering an outdoor area perfect for gatherings all year round. A distinct lap pool sits parallel to the cottage and provides an infinity edge view towards Encounter Bay’s rugged Bluff headland.

Ponderosa is the latest addition to our studio’s list of unique tourism projects — including the awardwinning Devils Corner Lookout, the intimate Darkwood Residence (featured in Grand Designs Australia), and the iconic Pumphouse Point hotel in Tasmania’s Central Highlands. The pods will be constructed locally at Adelaide’s Tonsley Innovation District with completion scheduled for mid 2022. Source by Cumulus.

  • Location: Fleurieu Peninsula, Australia
  • Architect: Cumulus
  • Director: Keith Westbrook
  • Project Team: Jet O’Rourke, Rosella Sciurti
  • Year: 2021
  • Images: Courtesy of Cumulus

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