Continuing Australia’s love affair with adaptive reuse, this heritage woolstore has evolved to become Sydney’s latest boutique hospitality offering. Stephen Lacey has the story.
September 26th, 2013
Well, it was a long time coming, after several construction delays, but our first impressions are that the 1888 Hotel was well worth the wait. Located in a former Pyrmont woolstore constructed in…you guessed it…1888, the building was completely revamped by architect Chris Haughton of SHED Architects, as part of a $30 million redevelopment.
The industrial interiors feature soaring ceilings, exposed brick walls and huge period windows. Repurposed ironbark recovered during the initial stages of the redevelopment features throughout the rooms and public areas, and is even used in desks, shelving and as panelling.
We love the lobby with its four storey central atrium and 5-metre fig tree. Interior designer Cressida Kennedy (SpaceControlDesign) has used a palette of timber, polished concrete, steel, bronze, marble and an eclectic collection of vintage pieces, including restored 1950s, 60s and 70s lounge chairs.
In keeping with the industrial theme, there’s a sculptural screen made from welded concrete reinforcement, and custom-made suspension lamps created from steel and pulleys with charcoal felt shades.
There are 90 guest rooms to choose from, but if you’re just looking for somewhere to lay your head and don’t expect to be spending a lot of time indoors, we’d recommend the Shoebox Rooms. At just 15 square metres, you might not have the space to swing a French Bulldog (cats are so passé) but they actually feel more spacious than they are, and the bathrooms are generously sized. If you’ve cleaned up on the roulette tables at The Star (casino) down the road, splurge on The Attic; a 47-square metre suite with its own balcony.
The guest room décor is simple but elegant, with most of the drama provided by the high ceilings and windows and massive distressed beams. The only negative is that many rooms look over the Novotel across the road, possibly the ugliest hotel in Australia. Thankfully you can close the curtains and pretend it isn’t there.
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