Approval has been granted for a 50-room luxury hotel that will be sunk into a cliff face on the north-west coast of Tasmania.
The proposed design by Sydney-based firm Silvester Fuller, who worked closely with landscape architects at Aspect Studios, is mostly sunken below ground level. Various structural elements jut out from the cliff face and look out over the bay beneath.
The structure’s integration with the landscape is further enhanced by a green “roofscape” that conceals the subterranean levels from above-ground views.
“It is a hybrid building, part landscape, part building,” reads a design statement posted to the architect’s website. “The building is an extension of the landscape, sympathetic to its context and responding respectfully to it. A large green roof covers the majority of the building acting as an extension of the land behind. Set into the roofscape are a collection of courtyards.”
The hotel will form just one part of what is to be a larger community complex, featuring a 250-seat restaurant, a function centre, a wellness spa and a series of open, outdoor spaces.
“The northern arrival side of the site is defined by these three separate courtyards, creating three distinct experiences. A new village green welcomes visitors into the Farmers Restaurant and main event spaces. The green itself is intended as a community meeting place, designed for outdoor events such as markets, shows and [performances].
“Centrally, a concealed courtyard serves two functions. It is envisaged as an outdoor space supporting the conference and events rooms internally. Secondly, it will comprise a micro-environment for on-site water recycling and treatment. Lastly, the arrival to the resort is a hidden experience, concealed in the landscape; a carved pathway in the land leading to the resort [entrance].
“To the south on the edge of the cape, the building divides into the individual rooms associated with each function, separating and allowing the natural landscape and building to merge together. The spaces vary in volume with each, offering a different framing of the coast and landscape beyond. Larger restaurant and events spaces will have expansive coastline views and the more intimate villas are nestled into the existing tree canopy.”
A concern with environmental sustainability underpins the entire design concept, and is exemplified through a number of built and landscaped initiatives. For instance, Aspect Studios has incorporated a “contained wetland” within the development that will contain a variety of endemic species and design features that will enable visitors to become “immersed in the natural landscape in a way that further highlights the stunning natural beauty of the site”.
The Waratah-Wynard Council unanimously approved the proposed development in a meeting on 17 July. In light of approval, it is now predicted that construction on the site “could” commence in 2019.