Woods Bagot has announced that it has been appointed by the Trenerry Consortium to lead the $100 million renewal of Burnham Beeches and its surrounding gardens, located in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges.
Passing hands nine times in the past 40 years before being acquired by IHG’s Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Burnham Beeches is heritage-listed by the Victorian Government and has laid vacant for nearly four decades.
Woods Bagot will restore Alfred Nicholas’ mansion to its former glory for Six Senses’ first Australian resort, with the masterplan centred around three experiential zones: the Mansion and Spa, the Village Green and the Hilltop Retreat.
To mitigate issues of commercial viability and restoration costs, Woods Bagot’s design comprises a premium, non-permanent 81-key glamping offering managed by Six Senses, which will sit amongst the surrounding topography and at a significant distance from property boundaries. The design model is used abroad, ensuring non-intrusive and environmentally friendly accommodation in places of significance.
Woods Bagot Principal Bronwyn McColl says the practice’s design encapsulates the Dandenong Ranges and architect Harry Norris’ original vision.
“A tier one project and design team has been commissioned to restore Burnham Beeches to its former beauty. Once permits are in place, our world-class team of operators and consultants will be working to restore the magnificent Burnham Beeches Estate to its full potential,” she says.
“The design, programming and activation will be influenced by Burnham Beeches’ historical, social and ecological traits and patterns, as well as respond to feedback from the local community.”
The Woods Bagot masterplan includes the restoration of the mansion and gardens, the Nicholas Hall and Library, as well as a restaurant, wellness retreat, pool house and guestrooms. A village square will operate as the heart of the site, with a number of health and hospitality offerings surrounding the space.
Trenerry Consortium – comprising Victor Smorgon Group, Kanat Group and Trenerry Property – hopes to work alongside Heritage Victoria and local council to create permanent solutions for the mansion that are within heritage guidelines. A heritage permit application is currently with Heritage Victoria, with the entire development hinging on approval from the organisation.
“Burnham Beeches has been vacant for 36 years in its 89-year history, and we now have a dedicated and world-class team passionate about activating the site as it was always intended to be,” says Trenerry Director, Robert Dicintio.
“As plans progress, a key strategy of the Consortium continues to be to engage and listen to the local community and Council, Heritage Victoria and Parks Victoria. We are looking forward to presenting the plans to our passionate neighbours on the 14th of November, where there will be an opportunity to discuss the elements of the plans.
“With the commitment by Six Senses firmly in place, and a vision and masterplan which reflects feedback from stakeholders, the only hold up to construction commencement will be with awaiting the review process by the various authorities.”
Woods Bagot CEO Nik Karalis says the practice has looked to thoughtfully intersect both contemporary and classic eras into the masterplan, without disrupting much of the existing fabric.
“It’s a project that is inspired by its past, and yet is yearning for a future. Woods Bagot’s masterplan expands on the original country and gardens ethos, both restoring and regenerating its relevance to a new audience.”
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