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Oikos @ Breakneck Gorge
Project Description

Set on a stunning location just outside of Hepburn Springs, Oikos expresses itself as a sculptural interpretation of the rugged landscape it inhabits.

We were engaged to design a short term accommodation dwelling in an existing and very competitive marketplace. It was decided that the architecture would be the point of difference here, that we create a dwelling that stands out from the current offerings and connects with its location to provide a memorable experience.

Set high on the gorge it enjoys mesmerizing views but is also exposed to harsh elements, and therefore robust finishes were needed. Corten steel was chosen as the primary material, to age and blend into the landscape and to withstand the extremes of weather. This is complemented by a striking blade wall of handmade dark bricks.

This is not a large building measuring only 70sq/m internally, but the sense of space is heightened by the extensive glazing, using the roof form as internal expression of shape and by designing a free flowing layout with little circulation space.
Use of natural materials flows from the exterior to inside with the use of oak flooring, stained plywood, marble panelling, concrete bath, aged brass tapware and stone tiling. The interior has a timeless yet sophisticated quality where materials and furnishings are used in harmony for an immersive and unforgettable experience.

This was a challenging project on many levels not least from a constructional aspect but the result is a beautiful and unique architectural response to an amazing site. From the number of awards it has received it would seem many would agree with that.

Completed: 2019
Location: Elevated Plains, Victoria, Australia


Interiors: Robert Nichol & sons
Photography: Jack Lovel