LocationGreat Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Text description provided by the architects. The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria’s (RACV) Torquay resort is located at the gateway to the iconic Great Ocean Road. The design for the new building is based on a cluster of soft arcs that shift through native landscaping and sit comfortably within the coastal site. Rammed earth walls take up the colour of the sandy soil and appear as if they have grown out of the ground. These walls arc out beyond the building mass into the landscape and help delineate different zones within the building. The form gently follows the land contours as it curves gradually across the site, maximising views to the ocean. A limited palette of robust, low-maintenance materials has been selected deliberately to weather and fade over time, to render the structure an apparent relic in the sandy coastline.
The brief demanded solutions to complex relationships between a multitude of programmes and users within a luxury resort, while maintaining a sense of design clarity and rigour. The design incorporates gym facilities, restaurants, bars, a 50m pool and change rooms, yoga and spin rooms. The luxury day spa caters to both guests and private members and features a hammam, steam room, plunge baths and treatment rooms. The local golf club has been relocated to the new facility and the course actively revived. Local businesses are enjoying the influx of tourist and corporate groups to boost the local economy, while the extensive conference and function facilities provide new local business opportunities.
The interior flexes to programmatic needs, with clearly delineated public and private spaces, predominantly oriented to the links and sea views. Accommodation is accessed via curved hallways, lit by deep, coloured glass windows punched into the textured north-west-facing facade. The generously sized hotel rooms, many of which are interconnecting, open to the sea yet retain individual privacy with alternately recessed balconies. A minimal colour palette with a strong emphasis on natural materials is rigorously applied throughout the building with the external palette flowing inside the building, contrasting textures with more refined finishes