Annie Reid reports on a new design hotel in Canberra, Australia, that is changing the face of hospitality in the nation’s capital
December 17th, 2012
East Hotel is the brainchild of owner Dan Bisa, director of Bisa Property, a smartly positioned development that adjoins the retail and restaurant hubs of Manuka and Kingston, on Canberra Avenue.
Bisa engaged architect Rodney Moss, director of Cox Architecture to create something fresh for the Canberra market.
“We designed a real building – city-style, built boundary to boundary,” Cox says.
Featuring 140 rooms in varying studio and oversized, apartment-style configurations, the hotel aims to offer more, with savvy staff on hand for stylish outing options, Ox Eatery dining and bar facility, a ‘Free Range’ newsagency in the lobby and bikes for hire.
Polished pre-cast concrete and metal pans add sophistication to the exterior facades, where a floating awning at street level draws visitors and guests into the hotel’s central atrium and lobby hub.
“East works on many levels,” Cox explains. “At a pedestrian level, it adds life and interest and urbanity to the surrounding area. And at a visitor level it offers a contemporary, intimate and comfortable place to eat, where visitors can attend conferences or meetings, hang out or stay.”
The interior was completed by Sally Hieatt, of Sally Hieatt Interiors. Using refined glazing and recycled timber, she creates warmth and comfort for the ground level reception, lounge and library.
Of note is the central atrium featuring a recycled timber and black ceiling, which has small holes for a ‘limitless sky’ effect. Local artist’s work furnishes the common areas, while a video installation projects on a nearby wall.
Hieatt also specifies lobby furniture by Sancal. The Spanish design brand is represented by KE-ZU in Australia, and adds a modern, and quirky touch to balance the rich, dark materials.
The detailed design work was completed in about 12 months, with final construction finished in a further 15 months.
“It is very satisfying to see that vision being realised with the building complete and doing so well,” Cox says.
Images © Alina Gozin’a
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