The 50 acre Elements of Byron site in Byron Bay

With a AUD$7 million a month construction spend, the new AUD$100 million absolute beachfront Elements of Byron Resort, a member of Accor’s MGallery Collection, is on track for a February 1st 2016 opening.

A collaboration between three Brisbane identities – owner Peggy Flannery, Shane Thompson Architects and Rowena Cornwell from Coop Creative – the “slow architecture” venture celebrates four unique ecologies present on the site: dunal, eucalypt, rainforest and wetland.

All 94 villas have now been constructed and 65,000 new plants will go in between the villas and existing mature trees over the next three months to re-establish the natural ecosystems.

The mammoth infinity lagoon pool is ready for pebble effect and the first native rainforest trees in this precinct have been installed.

The housekeeping building is completed and ready for the installation of a 500 square metre array of solar panels.

The main bar shell now sits in the lobby, a centrepiece of the main pavilion, awaiting a custom mosaic finish.

The other two bars are under construction. An oversized elliptical skylight sits over the main bar and a series of custom glass pendants will hang from the four metre high ceiling above. Renowned Byron artist Noel Hart is creating a major series of blown-glass works reflecting the local birdlife to adorn the reception area.

Elements of Byron signature one bedroom villa in the wetland theme

The wood fired oven has arrived and is ready to install. This will become a showpiece in the more casual terrace dining area. Final touches are being made to the custom brass fire bowl for the sunken fire pit area, which lies below the water line of the pool and is bounded by a mosaic tiled wet edge and garden. The AUD$1.5 million kitchen fit-out is well underway.

The Elements of Byron Energy Management System, which will enable guests to monitor their energy consumption in real time via the TV or personal iPad in each villa, has been installed.

When guests depart they can choose to offset their carbon footprint, knowing exactly what their energy consumption has been. The concept of monitoring and quantifying exact energy consumption in real time is new.

“So if you turn on a light, for example, you can watch the monitor rise,” said Elements of Byron General Manager, Leon Pink.

Other aspects of the Energy Management System utilise the latest available international technology, such as motion detectors which activate power, lighting and air conditioning when a guest is in their villa.

“We are conscious of energy consumption,” Pink said. “This has been considered from the ground up by using principles of passive solar design and orientation so that the villas naturally require less energy to heat and cool.

“And in addition to this our Energy Management System will further reduce power consumption by around 40 per cent.”

Resort guests, Byron locals and tourists will be able to ride the Heritage Train from Elements of Byron to and from the Byron township, a 3km journey, or alternatively enjoy the half hour beach walk.

The resort is investing AUD$1 million to reinstate the train, including repairing the track which has not been used in over a decade.

The 100-seat train has already been fully refurbished in heritage colours and work on the track will commence shortly.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management