Pumphouse Design and Building works

australian timberhandmade bricks

 

About Us

Who we are: Pumphouse Design was founded by Mat Boyle and Anna Winneke. Both have a list of past creative endeavours that have shaped the present style of their work together, Anna in sculpting and metalsmithing, Mat as a furniture maker and natural earth builder. While Mat predominantly handles construction, Anna tries her hand at business management and together they design their projects and juggle the care of two children. Anna spent most of her childhood on a cattle station in North East Victoria. After various travels and jobs, a degree in sculpture at RMIT, and a dip ed, Anna landed her first art teaching position in Tasmania and met up with Mat. Mat is originally from a traditional earth building area in the North Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. He learnt to walk on the mud brick building site of the family-built home and, encouraged by his father Rob a landscape architect renowned for his work with native gardens, Mat carried on a family tradition by working with earth builder Hamish Knox in Eltham. Rob had worked closely with Alistair Knox, Hamish's father. In the time spent working with Hamish, Mat's skills in handling old timbers and traditional carpentry grew, as did his skills from across the building game. When friends bought a block of land on a harsh, rock escarpment in central Victoria and approached Mat to design and build a house and studio for them, he took up the challenge. On one condition - that Anna would join in! The Pumphouse design team has changed over the years but what has remained constant is the diverse range of skills everyone brings to each job. The team is made up of qualified carpenters and labourers. Hardworking, multi-skilled, professional, tradespeople with an eye for the aesthetic and able to turn their hands to pretty much anything.

 

Our Vision: We aim to offer our clients sustainable, affordable solutions that will be as relevant and liveable in 50 years time as they are today. We bring two different approaches to the design process, Mat's respect for traditional building styles and Anna's love of soft curves and sunlight! As a result, most of our work to date embodies a combination of these influences and retains the feeling of a renovated piece of traditional architecture. Our buildings borrow heavily from the landscape in which they are situated and cultural context of the area as well as the identity and lifestyle of the inhabitants.

 

Beliefs: We place great importance on building a mutual trusting relationship with our clients first and foremost. We are passionate about sustainability, not just involving the materials we use, but working within sustainable budgets. We believe that we have a responsibility to make our impact on the environment as light as possible. To us this means building structures that are visually unobtrusive, require the lowest possible embodied energy in their creation and are geared toward energy efficiency - Natural light, passive solar, energy ratings. We derive great satisfaction in being gleaners of waste products that often appear in our projects. For example the concrete footpaths that became the stone-walls you see in the photo, the wheat silo that became a bathroom and car leaf springs that became door handles. The people and stories behind the materials are paramount to the finished product. All parts of the process are documented and passed on to our clients. Many times we've heard pride expressed in the fact that a piece of the Princess Wharf is holding up the second storey! Local community and local business is an integral part of our philosophy and where possible we will always support and promote local business first.

 

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Inspiration: Traditional building styles from all cultures have predominantly inspired us both in our separate backgrounds of art and construction. The resourceful use of materials at hand and ingenuity of design. Mat has first and foremost been inspired by the 'old school' earth builders of the Eltham area that he grew up in, and the values and traditions that they stood for. He admired their broad skill base, ability to turn a hand at pretty much anything and love and respect of old materials. Builder, Hamish Knox became Mat's mentor, opening his eyes to the possibilities of formalising these broad skills working on 'hand built houses'. ".know how and wisdom of the past and that which is sustainable and modern" (line from 'Built by Hand', Steen, Steen and Komatsu, Gibbs Smith, publisher, 2003, Utah)

 

Anna Winneke & Matthew Boyle Mat Boyle Recycled material building Hamish Knox