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Bassano by Tom Robertson Architects

  • Tom Robertson Architects reconceptualise two cabins into a one-of-a-kind bed and breakfast and artist’s studio in Victoria’s Red Hill.

    With picturesque views of Red Hill’s hinterland and farm life, the latest rural accommodation by Melbourne-based Tom Robertson Architects is an ode to relaxation. The shell of the existing twin cabins has remained, with one cabin housing the living and sleeping quarters and its counterpart, the ‘artist workshop’, dedicated to creativity.

    The soft exterior blends seamlessly into its surroundings, clad in pale bagged brick and timber battens. The interiors, however, tell a different story, where robust forms and industrial materiality create a bold atmosphere that ‘tickles the senses’.

    The oiled steel kitchen evokes a sense of permanence within the cabin.

    Melbourne stylist Simone Haag mixed vintage and modern pieces throughout the space, creating an edgy aesthetic to reflect the architecture. Pictured in the dining nook is the Twentytwentyone Hotaru Buoy pendant light, a custom dining table by Scotty Bemelen and wicker chairs attributed to Alessandro Becchi for Giovanetti.

    Bassano is designed as an escape for two. The 50sqm cabin is cleverly divided into two distinct zones by a central sliding reeded glass wall, changing the space from informal to intimate. The entry side contains the kitchen and breakfast nook with a snug lounge and fireplace, while the left-hand side features the primary bedroom, a robe and a striking custom concrete bath.

    An overarching sense of permanence pervades, stemming from the oiled steel kitchen, Travertine floor tiles and traditional ceiling beams – a nod to the region’s farmhouses. Tom Robertson Architects called on Melbourne stylist Simone Haag to oversee the interior and create an ‘eclectic and layered’ interior imbued with warmth and individuality. Simone sourced a collection of famed vintage Italian and French design icons and paired them with contemporary Australian pieces throughout the space, cultivating a refined aesthetic that speaks to the architecture.

    A double-sided fireplace distinguishes the bedroom from the cosy lounge.

    The lounge features a collection of vintage pieces, including the Oluce wall light, 1970s Annie Hieronymus sofa, artwork and Brumbury table light, and the Halcyon Lake Moroccan Beni Ourain rug. 

    The compact 50sqm cabin is cleverly divided into two distinct zones by a central sliding wall of reeded glass, transitioning the space from informal to intimate. A white reissued Brionvega Radiofonografo record player and stereo takes pride of place in the cabin’s centre.

    The far-right wing of the cabin is reserved for the concrete bath and basin, dramatically illuminated by a skylight.

    The ‘slow-soak’ bathtub encourages guests to pause and unwind before rinsing off in the serene double shower.

    The bathroom features Tekla organic terry towels.

    The Brionvega Radiofonografo sits pride of place in the centre of the cabin, coinciding with ‘sound’ – one of the senses Tom Robertson Architects considered when designing Bassano. ‘Taste’ is taken care of with a cocktail and welcome hamper for all guests upon arrival, while ‘touch’ speaks to the tactility of the materials specified throughout the retreat. 

    The far-right wing of the cabin is reserved for the concrete bath and basin, dramatically illuminated by a skylight. This monolithic ‘slow-soak’ bathtub encourages guests to pause and unwind before rinsing off in the serene double shower.

    Tom Robertson Architects have created a bespoke accommodation offering far from the typical rural farmhouse in Red Hill. But just as its surroundings, Bassano is a reminder of the pleasure of escaping the city.

    The bedroom hones a subtle mid-century aesthetic through the 1950s wall lights by Hans-Agne Jakobsson, cactus and wicker planter and eccentric European pillowcases upholstered in Jean Paul Gaultier fabric.

    Clad in pale bagged brick and timber battens, the soft exterior blends seamlessly into its surroundings.

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