It’s a restoration that will stop you in your tracks while simultaneously delighting you. Alice Blackwood explores Albert Park’s newly refurbished Vincent Hotel with CoLAB Design Studio.
September 10th, 2013
The original Albert Park Windsor pub, established in 1889, has recently been resurrected as The Vincent Hotel under the expert hands of Melbourne’s CoLAB Design Studio.
Engaged to transform the pub into a modern version of its original self, CoLAB’s intricately detailed and carefully executed design solutions respond to the history and soul of the building.
“The client wasn’t interested in trends or adhering to the ‘Melbourne style’,” says CoLAB’s Anna Drummond. “Instead they challenged us to evoke the romance, idealism and aspirations of a Victorian era Albert Park.”
A trip back in time, Drummond’s first site meeting revealed a deeply layered building – in fact, “6 layers of wallpaper were peeled off the walls!” she exclaims.
“Amongst some of the intriguing stories we uncovered was the history of a beautiful garden, around which the original hotel (then known as The Windsor) was built,” she says.
With the garden long gone, Drummond and her team conceived an interior which alluded to the fabled gardens, using botanical motifs (inspired by the Victorian fervor for exotic plants and flowers) to create colourful and expressive backdrops to the main bar and bistro.
Constructed from intricately hand-cut mosaic, these colossal murals evoke what Drummond describes as a “decorative renaissance amidst Melbourne’s restrained designer style.”
Rich colour schemes are juxtaposed against refreshing whites, each room carrying its own ‘identity’ colour theme.
“By creating a single, restrained colour palette for the base building architecture, we were able to link a gradation of colours around the venue, all framed by the clean lines of the original architecture,” says Drummond of this particular challenge.
And a nice discovery, she notes, was the use of carpet as a graphic surface. “[It worked to] anchor each room’s colour selections,” she says.
CoLAB Design Studio
The Vincent Hotel
Photography © Shannon McGrath
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