“Purposefully lo-fi, The Retreat embraces a low-tech aesthetic towards the operation of the building itself, fully embodying the idea of retreat and slowing down. Celebrating craftsmanship and integrity of materiality instead of technology, every wall of the building have been designed to contain components that manually fold, open and close to manipulate the space and transform the program of the building.”

More and more these days I don’t need large and ostentatious. I don’t need transplanted and often inappropriate design styles. I do need quality and craftsmanship, beauty and a sense of purpose and place. I do need a slow building for slow living. I would love this multi-use private retreat/studio, not as a stylish folly but as my home. (I’d just need a storage shed conveniently out of sight or the willpower to divest myself of the treasure and junk I have accumulated over the years.) The Retreat in Balnarring, Victoria by Branch Studio Architects.

Photography by Peter Clarke

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