Designs have been released for Cox Architecture’s $35-million “lifestyle resort” in regional Victoria. Called The Point Resort Apartments, the project is to be constructed on the current site of Silverwoods Gold and Lifestyle Resort in Yarrawonga, overlooking Lake Mulwala.

The architectural language of the project draws heavily from the history of the rural site, and the regional Victorian setting more broadly. During the design process, Cox looked to “the romance of agricultural working buildings” for the materiality and form of The Point, such as in the large galvanised roof forms that fold or open up at carefully selected points, responding to opportunities for views and exposure to landscape.

This was the same approach taken throughout the design. Cox says that connection to the rural landscape was taken “at every opportunity” through the design process.

“The formal language of the resort is inspired by the poetic simplicity of a farm building in the Australian landscape,” Cox explains to Architecture & Design. “The functional attributes of the roof as a simple element which filters the Australian environment, providing shade, shelter, security and water. [This has been] refined, accentuated and manipulated to create an iconic resort experience.

“Simple façades and roof forms, inspired by the rural vernacular, [are] complemented by robust natural materials such as steel and timber. The fired clay bricks used throughout have been selected to imitate the natural earth tones of the region, grounding the building in its setting.”

The Point has been designed to embody a range of passive design strategies, both for their sustainability benefits and the natural connections they open up “to allow people to experience the prevailing environmental conditions”.

The resort interior – which comprises 120 hotel rooms in addition to a mix of hospitality venues – varies spatially in response to programmatic functions. These volumes are “housed in a pragmatic manner, like agricultural buildings”.

“In [the] plan, the resort buildings are broken down and arranged around a central courtyard reminiscent of a town square,” says Cox. “This more formal landscape scape is bordered on the southern sides by a sheltered colonnade referencing the verandah of a rural homestead.

“The open spaces between the volumes open up the square to provide a variety of views out to Lake Mulwala, and to admit cooling winds promoting natural ventilation where appropriate. These gaps or laneways are activated by the higher traffic parts of the resort, including the lobbies and stairs.”

Construction on The Point Resort Apartments is set to commence early next year, with completion expected before Christmas 2019.