Southern Swan Shop & Dwelling

Southern Swan - homeopathic laboratory, dispensary, book shop and dwelling is housed in a refurbished early 20th C masonry building located on the main street of Cygnet - a small and active rural community in Southern Tasmania.

Our clients asked that the shop be a ‘living room for the community’. To them, this meant warm, natural materials, a fire place, books, and nooks to sit and relax. We had a lot of fun converting the existing early 20th c. building into something special, by retaining the original facade and using salvaged timber and pressed tin for the internal linings. 

Invariably people’s first words are ‘Wow! What a beautiful shop!’ They just want to come in and spend time in the space. It’s incredibly satisfying to know that we have been able to create such a welcoming environment that has such a vitality and magic of its own.
— Client, Southern Swan Shop and Dwelling

The new addition at the rear is a home for the owners, using galvanised cladding to fit with the local rural aesthetics, and generous high windows, oriented to the north for sunlight.

At the back, we have this amazing space with northern windows that make it incredibly warm, and we enjoy beautiful views across the paddocks. And in the shop and dispensary, the atmosphere is just glorious: it’s fitted out to be comfortable and cosy, using local timbers that impart a sense of warmth, character and history.
— Client, Southern Swan Shop and Dwelling
It is not always possible to achieve synergy between architect, builder and client. We have had the good fortune to do just that.
— Client, Southern Swan Shop and Dwelling

Location: Cygnet, Tasmania, Australia

Completed: 2013


2013 Tasmanian Architecture Awards - Commendation for Commercial Architecture

Project Team

Our team: Ryan Strating & Natasha Lowry

Builder: Paradigm Constructions

Joinery: Strating Joinery


Rinnai 16 gas instantaneous system

Morsø cast iron slow combustion wood heaters

Nobo panel heaters

Autex Greenstuf 85% recycled polyester batt insulation

Forbo Marmoleum

Feature lighting by Mud Australia

Ecolour zero VOC paints

Sustainable Initiatives

Energy Rating: 6.7 Stars

Use of existing structure

Demolition goods salvaged/reused locally


Insulation retrofitted to existing building

Efficient water and space heating

Recycled timber

Healthy internal finishes

Natural and Low energy lighting

Airlock at retail entry


‘Nature and Nurture’, Sanctuary, Issue 18

‘Southern Swan’, ArchitectureAU, June 2014

‘Southern Swan’, Artichoke, Issue 46, March 2014