Named Oikos, a moniker derived from the ancient Greek word for home, this Cor-Ten steel vacation home resides in Hepburn Springs, Australia—a resort town about 90 minutes from Melbourne often referred to as "the spa center of Australia." Architectural firm Robert Nichol & Sons were tasked with constructing a holiday rental that would complement the already existing structures on their client’s sprawling property, called Breakneck Gorge, which include a homestead, another short-term rental, and some agricultural buildings.
The architects also sought to take advantage of the site’s spectacular scenery. "We knew our design had to respect and connect with this stunning location," they explain. "This region has a plethora of available short-term stays, but given the unique potential this site offered, connection to the landscape was critical."
In order to maintain privacy for both guests and homeowners, Oikos was designed with the strongest viewpoints in mind, capturing the best vistas while sheltering views back to the homestead.
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Cor-Ten steel was selected both for its aesthetic appeal and its ability to integrate into the landscape, evolving over time and with the seasons. It also met the client's request for a building that didn't require ongoing external maintenance.
The 753-square-foot layout presents a series of interesting volumes that are discovered as one moves through the space.
The open-plan living space provides a front-row seat to the spectacular scenery, which is framed by floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that further integrate the outdoors.
The bedroom also boasts a wall of sliding glass doors that open the home to its surroundings.
The minimalist material palette incorporates light and shadows into a tonal, textural mix. The dark flooring and paneling are both Nero Oak Volcano from Mafi.
These Sekhia bathroom wall tiles are a Japanese product from Inax. The sink vanity is made from black Marquina marble, and the aged bronze faucets are from Brodware.
The minimalist bathroom provides a calm, introspective experience.
The dramatic, handmade, black concrete soaking tub is from Boyd Alternatives, a local Victorian company that produces handmade baths. The color is an addition to the concrete mix.
The home steeps in dramatic views of the gorge.
Oikos floor plan
Oikos site plan
- Robert Nichol & Sons
- Robert Nichol & Sons
- Nick Andrew Construction
- Jack Lovel