© Carr Design Group

Gippsland Spa // Carr Design Group

Melbourne, Australia

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Gippsland now houses a beautifully crafted Turkish spa designed by multi award-winning Carr Design Group. Offering an holistic and rejuvenating relaxation experience, in a setting of complete tranquillity, the new spa houses five treatment rooms and a hammam. The idea for Gippsland Spa began a couple of years ago when the current owners bought an existing vineyard and restaurant.

© Carr Design Group

© Carr Design Group

With the desire to create something extraordinary, which would reveal the unspoilt beauty of the area, the clients commissioned Carr Design to fulfil their vision.

Responding to the brief, Carr have created a building that is respectful of its landscape whilst also offering a new take on Australian vernacular outbuildings.

© Carr Design Group

© Carr Design Group

Sited at the top of a hill, looking out across the valley, rolling hills and vineyards, the building is a dark rectangular volume with clean lines and modest detailing. Building on the language of vernacular timber construction the building makes only the lightest impression upon the countryside and nestles neatly into its context, working within the confines of the adjacent vines.

© Carr Design Group

© Carr Design Group

The building mass is split in three volumes, linked by terraces and an external covered walkway. Sandwiched between the reception wing and the treatment wing is the hammam, a Turkish steam bath where temperatures range between 36-40°C and humidity levels are typically 70-75%. Built into the contours of the hill, the building floats above the landscape.

© Carr Design Group

© Carr Design Group

This serves multiple purposes: on the one hand it allows all the services to be hidden from sight but it also opens the interiors up to the panoramic views of the lush green surroundings.

The interiors are a response to the landscape, with elegantly framed views that take into account the daily and seasonal pattern of shifting sunlight.

© Carr Design Group

© Carr Design Group

A covered walkway, linking both wings, gently exposes guests to the elements and offers glimpses into the landscape as well as access to the hammam. A terrace adjacent to the hammam encourages guests to transit between the low-lit, steamy, atmosphere of the Turkish bath and the open air terrace with expansive views, enhancing the sensory experience of both.

© Carr Design Group

© Carr Design Group

In contrast to its dark exterior, the interiors incorporate a palette of lightweight plywood. Warm neutral colours create a tranquil environment.The hammam is the real feature. Responding to the Islamic tradition, the space incorporates an elegant vaulted ceiling continuously lined by mosaic tiles. Hand held showers, curved seating and a steamy environment capture the essence of a Turkish spa.The spa also has significant green credentials.

© Carr Design Group

© Carr Design Group

With no connection to town water supply, it has solar collectors and a rain water collection and storage system that help make the building self-sufficient. The materials, such as the timber are locally sourced minimising travel distances and reducing the project’s carbon footprint..

© Carr Design Group

© Carr Design Group

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