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Hilton South Wharf
South Wharf, Melbourne, 2009
DESIGN Woods Bagot and NH Architecture
AWARD 2010 Interior Design Excellence Awards (idea10) Overall Winner
and Winner (hospitality); 2010 Interior Design Awards Commendation
THE BRIEF Internationally branded hotels – by necessity, to achieve
the elusive star ratings – must sign off certain amenity criteria. There is no
real qualitative analysis of design. Those that dare enter this realm usually
end up being branded ‘boutique hotels’, which have an inevitable reputation as
being restricted only to the hip, all-in-black brigade. At the Hilton South Wharf, we
have subverted this premise and created a guest arrival experience that transcends
the run-of-the-mill expectation of internationally branded hotels.
DESIGN PHILOSOPHY Co-located with the new Melbourne Convention
Centre, Hilton South Wharf is surrounded by the historical maritime precinct and
the permanently anchored Polly Woodside. The interior design philosophy uses
these elements, deliberately enhancing the rustication of the maritime context as a
reference point for the design inspiration. Oversized warehouse timber trusses, lead
red-coated surfaces, cage-like light fittings and accessories from old shipping relics
fused with commissioned Dani Marti Brillo-Pad-and-rope canvases all conspire to
create a guest experience that’s usually not expected in this genre of hotel.
REALISATION The hotel tower’s facade is a floor-to-floor glazing assembly with
revealed slab edges, allowing alternating guest room triangulated bays to swing
across and face the city. Each floor alternates staggered angled bay windows to
create a textured checkerboard effect. A visual distortion is generated by fracturing
cloud reflectance, and no t wo rooms have the same reflected image on the bay
face. The end elevation reveals the central corridor split.
Woods Bagot www.woodsbagot.com. NH Architecture www.nharchitecture.net.
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