Saffire Freycinet Tasmania

From its inception, Saffire Freycinet on Tasmania’s east coast, was imagined as an iconic project to redefine tourism in Tasmania. The original brief was for a much larger development of 150 rooms, but this was rethought by owners The Federal Group and eventually became a far smaller scale, more intimate resort.

Saffire now features 20 accommodation suites, each with sweeping views of Great Oyster Bay and the Hazards Mountains (an iconic Tasmanian landscape) and have an organic relationship with the site.

The site is located at ColesBay on the east coast of Tasmania, and overlooks Great Oyster Bay, the Hazards and the Freycinet Peninsula. The Hazards are a unique geological formation of pink granite that give them an orange/pink tint. The project site is located within, what is extensively a natural native costal landscape.

“With this in mind, we shaped the main building as the end point in a journey,” says Peter Walker, director at Circa architects. “In which views of the Hazards are shielded and revealed and finally presented as a destination which is a panoramic overview of the Hazards and their context.”

The guest arrives in the main reception building (the sanctuary) which is entered through a long “jetty” like walkway to a viewing platform that overlooks the bay.

Fro
m this upper level, they descend towards the view to the main lounge level. The lowest level of the reception building accommodates the spa, gym, boardroom and gallery. It also provides a link to the guest suites.

Twenty guest suites are located along a serpentine walkway, each carefully sited to capture views of the hazards and provide a privacy for the guests.


There are three suite types with the premium located to the west of the site and furthest from the reception. Each suite has a deck located towards the view and a private courtyard located towards the north which is entered off the walkway.

There is only one major restaurant in the main building on the same level as the lounge bar. Apart from the huge expanse of glass along the length of the restaurant, there is the wall that connects it to the reception lobby.

This wall became an important backdrop to the restaurant that Ashworth felt should not compete with the view; therefore, it was covered in a black timber veneer so it would disappear.

“We were careful to select materials that blended and harmonized with the architecture,” says Juliet Ashworth, partner and creative Director with Chhada Siembieda Australia.


“The natural flowing lines of the building are also reflected in the space planning which allows the guest to freely and informally relax in the spaces as they might in a coastal home.”

In the guestrooms the same principals applied so that, wherever in the room the guest was, they were experiencing the outside world. Inside, the color palette is drawn from what the guest see all around them; soft grey, taupe, green, blue with punches of varying shades of orange which pick up on the startling colors of lichen, granite rocks and driftwood on the beach.

The guestroom rugs designs incorporate graphic representations of local fauna and the lampshades and cushions are wrapped in ‘panama’ fabric like the classic straw hat.

“One of the design aims was to create a modern architectural expression that references the Tasmania tradition of costal shack buildings,” Peter Walker explains.

“These typically are an eclectic collection of buildings that not only take form over time but also weather and patina naturally. The material selection reinforces this association.”

 

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