Set on a striking elevation just outside Hepburn Springs in Victoria, Australia – Oikos, named after the ancient Greek word for home is an indulgent short-stay retreat. Designed by Robert Nichol and Sons, Oikos evokes the red center of this great southern land – it’s dramatic, sculptural form both complementing and disappearing into the rugged precipice on which it stands. The retreat is subtle in scale yet rich in design, offering inbuilt architectural form and natural landscape setting.
Oikos is located on the crest of Breakneck Gorge, a sprawling 20-hectare property that takes in spectacular views of Hepburn Springs and Daylesford. The site’s prominence called for a design that would speak to the land – not distract from it. Corten steel cladding answered the issues of durability and disguise, ensuring longevity while not dominating the sensitive landscape. Installation difficulties for the complex design were dealt with by on-site fabrication.
The sculptural, rock-face like northern façade, unpunctuated by windows, faces the owner’s home. This clever positioning and design create privacy for both guests and owners, ensuring Oikos looks out instead to the stunning views below.
Every element of this project is tailor-made and designed to enrich the user experience, from the selection of locally designed furnishings and the angled timber ceilings to the treetop views glimpsed from the floating steel bed.
Photos Jack Lovel