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Artisan stonework exemplifies the approach to quality at BeIIarine Springs
Bellarine Springs is widely considered the region’s premium retirement community, and when you learn about the attention to detail that goes into the homes there, it’s easy to understand why.
Along with little touches like stair-free entrances, easy-access doorways and quality brick construction, some of the homes at the village even feature a hand-stacked, natural stone entrance feature, meticulously crafted one stone at a time by skilled artisans.
A perfect example of the level of detail taken in every aspect of the village, each natural stone entrance feature takes three weeks to create.
Bellarine Springs’ owner and CEO, Geoff Reeve – who is a construction engineer by trade – says he insists on using natural stone in some of the village homes as part of an overall approach to building “beautiful, high-quality homes”.
“I appreciate that quality natural stone cladding has a higher cost than other artificial products, but I believe that natural products and materials have a timeless and unique appearance, are more in tune with nature and last longer,” Geoff explains. “It is generally accepted that natural stone is the preferred choice for most experts in construction and landscaping who tend, as their first inclination, to choose natural stone. Natural stone often improves as it weathers, and it is extraordinarily durable, so it will never fade. Using materials such as natural stone, brick and terracotta roofing tiles ensures our residents’ homes will stand the test of time, and keep looking fantastic as the years go on.”
Geoff says the architectural inspiration for Bellarine Springs – including the village’s remarkable community centre – is drawn from the work of world-renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who often employed stacked- stone feature work in his designs.
“One of Frank Lloyd-Wright’s most famous homes is called ‘Fallingwater’, which was built between 1936 and 1939 over a waterfall in southwest Pennsylvania.” Geoff says. “The house, which has stacked stone features throughout provided the inspiration for the homes and communal spaces at Bellarine Springs.”
One of the fascinating details of the stacked-stone entrance features at Bellarine Springs are the mineral crystal growths markings, that can be seen embedded in some of the stones.
“Only natural stone is able to offer such rich features,” Geoff explains.“We use a natural stone called Baw-Baw, and it arrives in individual pieces in a large timber crate. Our stonemasons then use their rare skills to meticulously select and shape each piece, stacking it by hand in a way that creates perfectly straight lines, which end up looking ‘just right’. Each entrance feature and is a real work of art.”
Geoff says each home is then “capped off” with an engraved piece of granite, specially sourced from Western Australian, which features a house number that is hand rendered in reflective paint – a further example of the unrivalled attention-to-detail that makes Bellarine Springs a very special place to live. Hand-stacked natural stone is also used in the village community centre, including a large central stone fireplace that is a central feature of the centre’s spacious dining and lounge area.