A diamond in the rough

10 Mar 2011

Graceful rural getaway completed in Australia's Coles Bay by Circa Architecture

Circa Architecture’s sensitive development of a high-end tourist resort in Coles Bay, Australia challenges user preconceptions of luxury accommodation in a carefully crafted fashion. The rhythmatic silhouette on a brush landscape is highly memorable and yet does not disrupt the natural beauty of the quiet coastal location.

Situated on the scarred remains of a disused caravan site, the Saffire Resort complex is an intimate retreat for interstate or international travellers looking for high-end accommodation. Construction on the site was testing due to its treatment by previous users, meaning that the project itself was as much a repairing venture as the construction of a new holiday venue.

The result is an insightful, contemporary hotel resort, whose architecture is moulded to deliberately alter a user’s views of the surrounding flora by repeatedly blocking and revealing on one’s journey throughout. These panoramic views are captured through high performance glazed windows which span the length of the communal areas, dotted with comfortable seating arrangements to afford crystal-clear sightlines out across the bay.

Colours, materials, form and scale are all inspired by the surrounding environment which, coupled with the panoramic views creates an intimate relationship between visitors and their natural surroundings while they remain encased in a luxury dwelling. The larger form of the main resort building is counteracted by the personal scale of the individual suites of which there are twenty.

The main building (Sanctuary) is entered from the tail end, opening up to a cavernous volume incorporating a reception lounge, bar, restaurant, and additional lounge facilities. This is coupled by a gallery space, board room and day spa. Attention has been paid to sustainable practices in this remote location with rainwater collected on the roof redistributed into the reflection pools and all buildings well insulated with high performance glazing.


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