Old town history meets new wave sustainability

A striking eco-resort that embodies the essence of new and recycled timber working together to form a unique, innovative and sustainable development.
Project Name
Svarmisk Resort Centre, Mt Beauty
Case Study Type
Photographer Details
Peter Bennetts


The Svarmisk Resort Centre is located at the end of the picturesque Kiewa Valley, at the foot of the Victorian Alps in Mt Beauty. What was once the dilapidated Mt Beauty Chalet including accommodation wings, has become a stunning, Scandinavian inspired eco-lodge on a five acre sloping site. The resort centre, which sits alongside the Svarmisk Resort Apartments, consists of a reception area, a produce store and café, a commercial kitchen and a first floor apartment.

The design team's reliance on re-used materials reflects their commitment to recycling, rejuvenating and re-establishing the site. The colourful exteriors have been teamed with clean, simple interior décor. Most of the wood used in the construction, such as the timber flooring and pine plywood ceilings, was recycled from the original buildings.

"Timber is a natural, warm material and sustainable use of it - whether by managed plantation sources or recycled timber from the local area - made a lot of sense to the type of architecture and attitude both the client and our office wished to present," says architect, Grant Amon.

The Svarmisk Resort Centre is a clear example of what can be achieved when environmentally responsible principles are applied to all aspects of construction and design.




"As a result of the unique building design this was an extremely complex test in construction origami. With so many angles and connections between new timber and other materials, wood gave me the flexibility to create new solutions ‘as the plot thickened'", says Andy Mero, Owner/Builder.

For the frame of the Svarmisk Resort Centre, the design team used F7 KD Pine walls with plywood sheet bracing and seasoned recycled hardwood Victorian Ash posts. The use of timber in the structural design of the project enabled maximum ease of construction, while staying true to the aesthetic specifications in the building brief, which emphasised a commitment to upholding the natural contours of the picturesque surrounds.

"The timber we've used is not only beautiful and full of character, but was also a part of the site's history, which gives a warm and welcoming ambience to the building," comments Andy.



The exterior of the Svarmisk Resort Centre carefully respects the sites mixture of exotic and Indigenous trees, natural forms and state forest surrounds. Nestled in the contours of the sloping site, the combination of recycled timber and steel cladding add a contemporary feel and aesthetic to the old growth setting.

In response to the complex topography of the site, organic forms have been developed - the resort centre is softened by the flowing roofline and exposed joists. "This particular building was constructed as a sign post, signalling to the passers by that unique experiences lie within. I think that this has been accomplished primarily due to the folded roof sections and reclaimed timber façade," comments Andy Mero.

The landscaping is a further example of the design team's re-use and rejuvenate philosophy with recycled building waste used for mulch, while logs burnt from recent bushfires have been used to create structural garden elements.



A Scandinavian inspired interior blended with recycled timber establishes a clean, simple and inviting setting. The use of timber throughout, especially hardwood framing, flooring, posts beams and furniture from the demolished buildings on the site, is significant. It assists with the development of an honest Alpine vocabulary.

This use of recycled, rough sawn or redressed timber is contrasted in the project against the use of light pine timber for the flooring, ceiling panels, produce store shelving and the decorative Birch tree wall element at the back of the reception desk. Baltic Pine salvaged from one of the demolished buildings has been used for the finished floor surface and skirting.

Of particular note is "the restored wooden staircase which has had generations of Mount Beauty locals climb its steps over the years ... bridging the gap between old town history and new wave development," says Andy Mero.

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