A boutique hotel in Victoria’s Port Fairy, Drift House’s design impressed the jurors with its intimacy, its emphasis on pared-down, natural materials and its striking sense of place. Encompassing a double-storey Victorian bluestone house, an adjacent single-storey Edwardian home, and a newly built garden pavilion and reception centre, the project uses reclaimed wood and stone from a local quarry to create a subtle sense of luxury that also reflects the town’s hardscrabble history. Communal spaces are cleverly designed to be adaptable, transforming from dining room to lounge area to event space. These spaces invite a sense of home and comradery that’s rare in any hotel setting, encouraging guests to intermingle or retreat to the secluded privacy of their rooms as they see fit. This was one of the outstanding regional projects the jury saw this year, and the jury hope its marked ambition is a harbinger of things to come from Australia’s smaller communities.
Stage two at Drift House includes another two holiday apartments within an adjacent period home, a front-of-house/reception centre in what was a derelict garage and a purpose-built garden pavilion or salon where guests can gather to eat and drink. The design continues and hones the ethic already established for this small regional hotel. Fundamental to the brief was to work with the clients’ relaxed aesthetic and to ensure that the new work sat comfortably within its garden setting, juxtaposed but not jarring with the heritage buildings. This creates a dialogue or discussion between the past – omni-present and pivotal – and the new. Relaxed, understated interiors emphasize guest pleasure.
96 and 98 Gipps Street
Port Fairy, Vic
Project team: Tim O’Sullivan, Sioux Clark
337 Brunswick Road
See the whole gallery of images at the Eat Drink Design Awards website.
The 2019 Eat Drink Design Awards are organized by Architecture Media and supported by major partner Chandon Australia; supporting partners Harbour, Latitude, Ownworld, Roca and Tasmanian Timber and event partner Four Pillars Gin, Jetty Road Brewery and S.Pellegrino.