Case Study: Floating hearth

Written by

MAD Design

17 February 2023


2 min read

Our challenge was to create a unique bar and dining experience that articulated the indoor-outdoor connection.

For almost 30 years, the Calamvale Hotel in the southern suburbs of Brisbane, Australia has been a favourite with locals. With the passing of the years, the hotel was in need of a makeover, and architectural firm Brand + Slater was commissioned to refurbish the interiors, redefine the existing outdoor terrace and add a distinctive extension to modernise the hotel.

Our challenge was to create a unique bar and dining experience that articulated the indoor-outdoor connection,” - Jessica, Brand + Slater

Case Study: Floating hearth

Adds Jessica: “And as part of the design we needed an elegant linear burner that could be set into a custom-designed open fireplace.” After considering several gas burner options, the design team discovered the EcoSmart Fire XL900 Burner. They elected to join together two EcoSmart Fire XL900 Burners, providing a 1.5m linear flame.

“To warm up both literally and aesthetically the voluminous interior, an open fireplace that virtually hovered over the indigenous garden was incorporated,” Jessica explains.

“We had some issues with trying to design a flue to suit the interior space, and the clean-burning fuel option eliminated the need for an unsightly flue which would distract from the simplicity of the timber-clad sloping back wall. Our key design aspects were elegance, simplicity, understatement, and transparency, and the XL900 epitomised these and allowed design freedom.”

The result is a sloping screen wall above the floating hearth, which is clad in striking black tiles, and the toughened glass back of the fireplace allows glimpses into the garden beyond, further emphasising the indoor-outdoor connection. “Gazing at the flames with the green foliage behind is a delight to the senses,” Jessica says.

As well as satisfying the design needs, the EcoSmart Fire has become a focal point in the hotel. “For such a voluminous space I am really impressed with the amount of heat the XL900 gives off. In winter people request tables near the fireplace for the ambiance and warmth this feature provides,” says Jessica.


  • Country: Australia
  • Client: Calamvale Hotel
  • Specifier: Brand + Slater