Breakneck Gorge Oikos - Hepburn Springs | Meet The Makers
1 BEDROOM | 1 BATHROOM
Rates start from $350 (AUD) per night
Gabe and Arthur sought a change of pace and tree-change some 20 years ago. Selling their city home, they moved to Hepburn Springs. After visiting friends over the years, the couple fell in love with an 18-hectare (45 acres) piece of land on the outskirts of the town.
In 2018 the couple set out to develop a unique 1-bedroom retreat. Oikos, meaning dwelling in Greek, was driven by an ambition to create a sculptural piece of art that was bold yet complimentary to the Hepburn Springs landscape.
With a scenic hillside aspect looking over natural bushland, Breakneck Gorge Oikos provides guests with a feeling of escapism, just minutes from the townships of Hepburn Springs and Daylesford.
The Origins Guide had a chat with Gabe and Arthur, owners and hosts at Breakneck Gorge Oikos, to discuss their inspiration and what their guests love most about the retreat.
What’s the inspiration behind Breakneck Gorge Oikos?
We wanted to provide guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in the beautiful landscape. The brief was to create a piece of art that was both striking and helped shape the wonderful landscape.
Breakneck Gorge is situated quite close to Mount Franklin, an extinct volcano, so we wanted something that reflected the rust-red soils. The steel façade has weathered wonderfully, creating a rich earthy colour. It reminds us somewhat of the red earth of Uluru and the area around it. Like Uluru, Oikos changes and reflects the light and seasons. It’s got a living dynamic to it – from a bright vibrant orange when in the summer sun to a dark, rich red when the weather changes and the cooler months are upon us.
We gave the architect Brett Robertson at design studio Robert Nichol & Sons creative freedom to shape and mould the space. Our express instruction was to create a piece of art and most importantly make sure the bathroom was ‘wow’. We jokingly checked in time-to-time to ensure the ‘wow’ factor was maintained.
Did you achieve the bathroom ‘wow’ factor?
He certainly did. The bathroom is quite large, considering the space of the home. It’s a real statement bathroom and has oversized black cast concrete bathtub which is perfect for soaking away the stress.
Tell me a little more about the interior of the Breakneck Gorge Oikos
The build itself is quite a small footprint of 75sqm, however it feels bigger. Thoughtful design, such as a focus on usable space, over hallways and passages helps to minimise footprint without compromising quality. Strong geometric shapes and an origami-like roofline adds to the sense of space and intrigue – playing on elements of compression and release and framing of the rural vistas.
The interior is dark and moody. We joke that Brett has a love affair with shades of grey however it really has created a theatrical space that’s emotive and helps to further focus upon the extraordinary views.
The living area also features a large, floor-to-ceiling sliding window that rolls back to create a seamless connection with the spotted red gum deck, allowing guests to take advantage of the natural bushland views.
What do guests love about the experience?
We have a lot of design lovers, builders and architects stay at the home. It’s proven to be a great space to experience unique design and gain some inspiration. The location is also incredibly special. Guests love the feeling of escapism. Quite often there’s up to 150 Kangaroos and an assortment of wildlife dotted around the property. It feels like you’re in the middle of bush yet in reality, you’re only 5 minutes from town. Sitting on the balcony with a glass of wine in hand and watching a glorious sunset is a magical experience.
What are you most proud of?
It’s incredible to admire what we’ve created. The journey of creating something bold and unique has been exciting. We found the process of developing and building Oikos to be a wonderfully creative experience – between the builder, architect and ourselves, it was a pleasurable process to bring this project to life.
We’ve been able to achieve our ambition to create something artistic and sculptural, a space that not only complements its surrounding but adds to the conversation.
Breakneck Gorge Oikos
Breakneck Gorge Oikos is a one-bedroom retreat which is striking yet sympathetic to the landscape. The strong angular design creates a distinct profile, with the weathered steel cladding anchoring the home to the landscape and native bushland.
Built as a place for love, laughter and peace – Gabe and Arthur invite guests to spend a few days away from it all and experience this unique place.