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Inside Edo Mapelli Mozzi’s AU$280M residential project on Australia’s Gold Coast

The founder of Banda – and husband of Princess Beatrice – walks us through his daring new Masthead development, inspired by the striking Australian landscape and set to provide residents with a 7-star resort experience in the comfort of their own homes.

“It’s impossible to pick a favourite room,” says Edo Mapelli Mozzi when we question him about his newest design project. “The whole space works as one to provide a very beautiful and faultlessly functional home. Every room has been meticulously well-thought-out and beautifully curated, so I would happily spend time in any of them.”

He is, of course, talking about the launch of the highly anticipated AU$280 million development Masthead, on the prestigious northern end of the Main Beach beachfront on the Gold Coast, Australia. The brainchild of Mapelli Mozzi, the founder of globally-renowned design studio Banda (who also happens to be husband to Princess Beatrice), it is the team’s first project in Australia.

“We have projects all over the world including Paris, New York, Milan, Doha, San Salvador, the Alps and London, but we had been looking for some time for the right project to bring us to Australia,” says Mapelli Mozzi. “We knew Masthead was the one.”

With construction set to start imminently, Masthead will provide residents with a 7-star resort experience at home, and is set to be a first-of-its-kind residential development offering true global appeal. Set to complete in 2024, the Banda design team are spearheading five sky homes, two penthouses and one super penthouse within the development, which comprises 28 apartments in total. Each home – all of which occupy their own entire floor – capture the sweeping, protected views of the Pacific Ocean, Broadland and Hinterland, treating owners to sunrise-to-sunset vistas that can never be built out.

With this project, context is everything… more than ever, the design needed to be relevant to the surroundings.

Edo Mapelli Mozzi, founder of Banda
Edo Mapelli Mozzi, founder of Banda
Edo Mapelli Mozzi, founder of Banda

“With this project, context is everything,” explains Mapelli Mozzi. “It’s not just the culture of the Gold Coast, but the uniqueness of the surroundings that had a huge influence on our design. The east/west axis of the building gives views over the sea, city, hinterland and estuary – four very different topographies – so more than ever the design needed to be relevant to the surroundings.”

While this striking homage to the region’s spectacular landscape is evident in numerous spaces throughout the homes, Mapelli Mozzi is quick to point to the beautiful kitchen island, which the design team crafted from bold, fluidly veined, green sequoia verde marble that speaks as one with the hinterland and the sea views beyond. “The rest of the kitchen is very understated and pared back with travertine and plaster so as not to jostle for supremacy with the sublime views,” explains the designer. “I also particularly like the infinity hob in this room which is recessed directly into the kitchen worktop. It gives a very clean, elegant, seamless look. We chose a bullnose detail for the edge of the kitchen island and floating shelf which softens the look ever so slightly, as does the lozenge shape of the island leg pillar.”

In keeping with the laidback, minimal Australian vibe, the brand’s signature use of natural materials and texture is a key focal aesthetic, offering the ultimate balance in modern day family living. Step inside the sky homes, for instance, and you’ll come face to face with intricate detailing and materials including tadelakt finishes to walls, antique bronze lift detailing, Calacatta Verde marble and Arabescato Corchia floor tiles in the bathrooms. As for the furnishings, bespoke Banda Design Studio pieces sit alongside vintage finds such as a Sergio Rodriguez antique chair, a striking curved sofa crafted in collaboration with Studio Giancarlo Valle with boucle fabric, terracotta urns, a Christopher Farr rug and artwork from Struan Teague and Imants Tillers, among others.

In fact, artwork plays a central role throughout the apartments and – as is the Banda signature – antique pieces and vintage finds blend with modern creations, statement lighting and beautiful art by both established and emerging artists. “It felt right to incorporate artworks by relevant Australian artists like Imants Tillers and Struan Teague,” adds Mapelli Mozzi. “The subtlety of the Imants Tillers’ Melancholy Landscape 1 quietly commands attention without detracting from the view from the sitting room.”

Another space the British property developer is particularly proud of is the powder room: “The colour palette of the powder room is a striking and unexpected addition to the design that pays homage to the red tones of central Australia,” enthuses Mapelli Mozzi of the tadelakt plaster room with travertine rossa vanity unit. “It’s fun and playful, and totally unexpected.”

Then there’s the Emmanuelle Simon ‘suspended bar’ in the living room – “a show-stopping piece of design that works so well against the stunning backdrop of the estuary and cityscape” – plus the exceptional home office with far reaching dual-aspect views across the marina and estuary which showcases a curved wooden Pierre Yovanovitch oak desk with Pierre Jeanneret armchair in mohair upholstery.

Never an afterthought, lighting throughout the homes is also exquisite, with Nicola Sherbon, head of Banda Design Studio, sparing no expense investing in signature pieces including a Stephen Antonson Four Arches Pendant alongside designs from Emmanuelle Simon, Serge Mouille, Articolo and vintage Palle Suenson.

While the apartments should be more than enough to keep the UHNWIs satisfied, the development will also incorporate The Ocean Club – an in-house residents club providing amenities including a wine and champagne lounge, whiskey and cigar room, private dining space, library and business meeting areas – all with panoramic ocean views.

Gold Coast, Australia
Main Beach beachfront on the Gold Coast, Australia, where Banda have created their Masthead development

While the 28 apartments are likely to be heavily over-subscribed, opportunities will exist elsewhere: “We have over 50 private client residential projects underway all over the world, and are a truly multifaceted global practice covering property search, architecture, interior architecture, project management and interior design,” says Mapelli Mozzi, adding: “2023 is going to be our busiest year yet.”