Bathe speaks to Mark Gacesa of Ultraspace, the design creative behind the stunning Luxe Lodge residency in Campbells Pocket, Queensland, winner of multiple awards at the Queensland HIA Bathroom and Kitchen Awards.
What is your design philosophy?
My design philosophy is to understand and become my client. I like to incorporate cutting-edge creative design solutions with the latest products and technologies from around the world to produce new and exciting limitless possibilities for their project that not only meets their needs, but is also beyond what they could have imagined.
How would you describe your signature style?
Because I like to ‘become’ and understand my client – and each client’s needs, likes/dislikes and architecture is varied, my design style from project to project is also varied. However, I would say that my work is originally unique, stylish, quite often very luxe with loads of customization and timeless – because I don’t really follow ‘design trends’.
Are you concerned about environmental sustainability in your designs? If so, what role does green building play in your work?
If the client requests – I do.
What are key elements that you look for when specifying products to use in your designs?
I love uniqueness – but also stylish. If products are able to be customized – that is a big plus for me. Obviously, reliability is also at the top of the list.
Can you describe an evolution in your work from when you began until today?
Sourcing unique products and finishes, then coming up with creative ways to incorporate them into my design work and also just my creativeness on a practical level would be two things that have evolved for me as a designer over the years.
What do you see as being the biggest design trends for 2018 in bathroom design?
From everything I have recently seen at design fairs in Europe, there will still be a move toward the more organic side of metal finishes with the matte blacks, dull brass and bronze, etc and a use of darker colours especially blacks and greys. The technology in the porcelain photographic finishes are forever improving and with their ease of maintenance are fast overtaking the real thing even in high end fit outs.
Who inspires you?
I don’t follow other designers here or from overseas because I don’t want to be influenced. My family inspire me – especially my Dad Peter, who is a retired Hall of Fame Designer in the DIA.
What has been your favourite project to date?
The Luxe Lodge project has definitely been a stand out in recent times. The clients were fantastic and there was so much unique customization and a coming together of many talented trades – that it really impresses me. It has also won loads of design and technical awards too…. Which is great.
Do you have a dream project that you would love to work on?
A mega-mansion in the Hollywood Hills and a private jet are two things on my radar.
What was your inspiration behind the design of the Campbells Pocket residency?
The clients travel abroad often and experience many glorious locations. They wanted this house to represent not only a culmination of those experiences, but to surpass the feeling they have when staying at any of the glamorous hotels around the world. The home also had to represent them, their lifestyle, its location and while appearing to be luxurious, it had to be robust with easy maintenance as well as have many locations to show off their amazing collection of pieces from around the globe.
We set out to achieve the client’s brief by fusing earthy, organic and natural product with things that you would describe as luxurious and in a couple of cases perhaps a little opulent. This idea came together perfectly to create a warm, organic luxe that is very comfortable to be a part of …. And while you feel very special to be a part of that space (as you do in a luxury hotel), you also feel that nothing is precious – you can touch everything, throw your feet up on the furniture and be at home – because it has all been designed that way.
I went to painful effort to avoid any silver in the project – all tapware by HansGrohe I custom bi-colour redesigned and it was produced in Germany for us, everything else was recoloured here in Australia.
What would you be your words of wisdom for anyone wanting to get in to the design industry?
Explore all options for study programs and choose one that covers the part of the industry that you are interested in most … Try to really let your creative go … especially while studying ! Lastly, try not to be influenced by other designers – we already have their style input – the world needs what you can create!
~ bathe ~
CREDIT: Fred Mckie Photography
ARCHITECT | Mark Gacesa, Ultraspace