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Wellington Marina, South Australia

A collection of six timber-clad retreats, on the banks of the Murray River, offer anew tourism experience to South Australia’s Riverland region.

Situated an hour east of Adelaide, overlooking a pristine wetland along Australia's longest river, Wellington Marina’s group of luxury pods are a delicate response to the region’s rich natural environment. As part of the marina’s broader tourism redevelopment strategy, the prefabricated structures combine simple and robust designs with natural palettes, connecting the pitched roof forms and timber exteriors to the native surroundings, creating a sense of quiet seclusion for visitors.

Wellington Marina Render by Cumulus Studio
Wellington Marina Render by Cumulus Studio

A calm flow

The collection comprises three smaller ‘eco-pods’, which can accommodate up to two people, and three ‘luxury pods’, designed for families and larger groups that visit the area for recreation and relaxation. The simple layout of each retreat makes the most of the design’s small footprint, which, along with the natural exteriors and ecological aesthetic, helps settle the strong angular forms into the landscape. The interiors are framed by floor to ceiling windows along one side—creating light-filled, private spaces that invite observation and reflection.

Wellington Marina Render by Cumulus Studio
Wellington Marina Render by Cumulus Studio

A sustainable approach

Considering the intent and setting, our designs carefully navigate the area’s scenic values and highlight the ecological importance of the neighbouring wetland and river to the region. Much like our Ponderosa project on the nearby Fleurieu Peninsula, Wellington Marina’s prefabricated retreats are locally made in Adelaide and feature integrated solar panels and rainwater harvesting. This project evolved from an initial feasibility study and was developed through close collaboration with our clients, the Coorong Council, and native vegetation specialists.

Cumulus was born in Tasmania in 2011. Four people. Two lounge rooms as makeshift offices. One residential project. Now, our studio has more than 40 dedicated architects, designers, and administrative team members working across our Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, and Adelaide offices.

Words by: Cumulus Studio
Location: Wellington, South Australia
Images: Cumulus Studio
Year: In progress
Land of: Ngarrindjeri

Project Team:   Rosella Sciurti
Keith Westbrook
Jet O'Rourke