Red Earth


We have always been immensely proud of our involvement in the groundbreaking Yulara Resort project from 1983, but never moreso than as we celebrate our 50th year. Yulara encapsulates our approach to design – to work with sensibility towards context, giving integrity to spatial identity and providing joy and a sense of excitement to people experiencing those spaces. As Janne has said, of completing Yulara, “…with this experience behind us, I think we could do anything now.”

“Yulara gave us the chance of working in a virgin setting where nature dictates the form and style of both architecture and interior design. It opened up a palette of unique colours whose depth, wonderfully unlikely contrasts and combinations can only be guessed at by urban Australians: the red of the sand, the soft grey-green of the spinifex, the corn hues of the desert grasses shading to grey and the softest mauve.

What we’ve done with the interior is to soften the exterior palette to create a cooler environment while still retaining a quality of light in contrast to the excessive heat and glare outside. It was a difficult line to tread using warm tones to create that feeling of coolness, but we think it has worked. This is partly because of its subtlety. From the terracotta we have gone to an apricot or soft terracotta flooring. The carpet is strong terracotta with a dark green stripe which is picked up again in the palette of the paintings. The paintings, which also mirror the palette, weren’t commissioned for the building but we went to an enormous amount of trouble with the architect to select the very highest quality works of Australian art.

Nexus has used numerous finishes, varying from smooth painted wall surface to coarsely textured carpets, to mirror the enormous variety of the terrain. The fabric and furniture selections echo the fine, granular appearance of the sands, the roughly hewn surfaces of the rock and the delicate nuances of the flora.”

Excerpt from “Yulara: Bringing the Outside Inside”, Design World Number 4, 1984

While the hotels have changed hands over the years and evolved since our work, the essence of this project has not changed, and the landscape is still paramount.

Architects: Philip Cox and Partners
Graphic Designer: Max Robinson
Photography: Earl Carter, Neil Lorimer, Nexus Designs
Artist featured: Gus Dall’Ava, Colin Lanceley

Further reading:
Design World No. 4 1984 (PDF)
Australian Design Review: An Interview with Janne Faulkner
Cox Architecture: Yulara Resort


  • Interior Design
  • Finishes & Fittings Selection
  • Interior Colour Palette
  • Furniture Selection
  • Interior Architecture
  • Artwork Selection
  • Colour Consultancy