tres chic- Bates Smart biggest hotel in the isphere look boutique. words
PENNY CRASWELL photography
SHAN "JON MCGRATH -I NTERIOR JOHN GO LUNGS- E)Q"ERIOR
I_ GROUP LOBBY WITH WALL MURAL BY MELBOURNE ARTIST Noi:L SKRZYPCZAK. 2_ VIEW THROUGH TO GROUP LOBBY WITH TIMBER BALL SCULPTURES BY KOREAN ARTIST LEE JAE路HYO.
3_ THE SINUOUS RIBBON OUTSIDE CONTINUES IN THE FLOATING STAIRCASE THAT LEADS FROM THE LOBBY TO MAZE RESTAURANT AND GRILL ON THE FIRST FLOOR.
When designing a hotel with 658 rooms, a 300-seat restaurant, a pool, day spa and ~xclusive club, the sheer size means it's all about capacity, economics and logistics - but it doesn't have to be just about those things. Realizing that a new hotel on this site would automatically attract the business crowd thanks to its proximity to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Crown briefed Bates Smart to create a hotel that would appeal to the leisure market. "They said, 'We want someth ing sexy,"' explains Bates the ground floor, leading the visitor around the Smart director of interior design Jeffery Copolov. staircase - which is hung on three fine stainless What was once three sites- a park, an old building steel columns to give the finest delicate edge that housed the Greek Club, and a car yard - was through to the restaurant on the f irst floor. consolidated into one. The building is essentially a The restaurant, Maze and Maze Grill by Gordon rectangle that has been modified to create a subtle S Ramsay, also leads the visitor on a journey. Here, the shape, with three rectangular blocks connected by logistics dictated the design. "The biggest challenge two curving joints. This allows a number of things. with a restaurant hotel is that it does huge numbers Because the building curves, the views down the at breakfast," explains Copolov. "So how do you corridors of the floors always lead around a bend make it feel intimate when you're t he first person rather than giving a sense of a long, straight corridor. in there but still feel good when there's three It also means that the rooms at one end are twist ed hundred people?" toward the best views on one side. And, because the The solution was to create a series of interconbuilding is not a continuous curve, which would cause nected multifunctional spaces. So, the place to grab problems with a number of different room shapes, a pastry and coffee over the newspaper in the the majority of rooms form simple rectangles. morning becomes a bar at night. The breakfast Meanwhile the rooms on the curve have been lounge where you can get your food and sit in a 路 casual sofa area akin to an airport members lounge duplicated so there are less room types overall. Rather t hen ending on a podium like many of also serves as seating for the bar in the evening. Sydney's towers, Crown Metropol hits the ground, Head around the corner and the dining areas for ala while a sinuous ribbon forms a walkway above street carte in the morning become the restaurant at night. height that leads the visitor through to the other Further private rooms and seating arrangements parts of the Crown universe, including the casino. add to the complexity and size of the restaurant. At Maze, the palette is predominantly subdued This ribbon is present in a number of other places within the building and is mirrored by the curving natural tones, which makes a feature of the custom porte cochere that leads vehicles from the street to lights - made in Italy by Foscarini, they are oversized the ground-floor lobby. versions of the company's existing catalogue lights. A double-height space, the lobby features Visible from the street,t hey provide an internal beacon another ribbon- this time t i mberwalls snake through that can be seen from the out side - a signature the space, hiding the lift lobby and the luggage store. feature in a number of Bates Smart's interiors for Artwork plays a vital role here - seven large balls of Crown. Other custom pieces and artworks were burnt timber cut into perfect spheres by Korean chosen or made specifically for the project. Art ist artist Lee Jae-Hyo become human-sized sentinels. David Band of Mahon & Band created a threeAt the group entry, a huge artwork by Melbourne dimensional wall relief from found bi rch leaves that artist Noel Skrzypczak forms a mural with splashes travels through the space over sixty metres. Two of pink, green, grey, brown and black. private dining rooms are clad in a basket-like weave At the main entry, the waiting area, with seating - a plastic that was woven by hand by a blind man dotted over a custom-designed carpet, is dominated who worked for three months for a local Melbourne by a floating staircase. Here the ribbon extends from joiner to create the spaces.
4 MAZE RESTAURANT DINING AREA WITH OVERSIZED LIGHTS AND A WALL RELIEF IN BIRCH BRANCHES BY ARTIST DAVID BAND OF MAHON & BAND. 5_ THE ENTRY TO THE MAZE RESTAURANT AND GRILL WITH BREAKFAST BAR THAT CONVERTS TO A DRINKS BAR AT NIGHT. 6 LIFT LOBBY TO LEVEL 28 CLUB WITH SIGNAGE BY FABIO ONGARATO AND A NEON PRINT BY ARTIST CHAN YU. 7_ AT "THE APARTMENT" ON LEVEL 25. A FUR RUG ON A CHAIR AT THE ENTRY INSTANTLY SPELLS LUXURY.
8_ THE LEVEL 28 CLUB HAS SEVERAL CASUAL SEATING AREAS SPLIT BY AN UNDULATING SCREEN. 9_ THE POOL WITH OVERSIZED PENDANT LIGHTS POSITIONED OVER THE DECK CHAIRS LIKE OUTDOOR UMBRELLAS. 10_ THE BEDROOM OF "THE APARTMENT" ON LEVEL 25. WHERE A HAND-COLOURED ILLUSTRATION HANGS OVER THE WARDROBE DOOR. 11_ HOTEL BEDROOMS ARE MOODY AND CONTEMPORARY WITH INDIVIDUALLY SELECTED TOUCHES.
Handcrafted and custom-designed elements are also present in the 658 guestrooms, studios and lofts that are cont emporary in their feel. Hand-painted artworks by David Band in collaborat ion with Fraser Taylor give these rooms a sense of individuality in what could have ended up being a cookie-cutter approach. In "The Apartmen~" on level 25, each piece has been carefully selected and many specifically designed for the space. As you enter, a fur rug immediately gives a sense of style and luxury. Bookcases with hard-bound books and objets d'art, and a wall full of framed artworks give the space a contemporary, chic and personal feel. "The approach we took was to treat it as if you landed in New York or London or Paris and your best f riend said, 'Here are the keys to my personal apartment,' rather than checking into a hotel,'' explains Copolov. On level 27, the pool and spa extend this sense of luxury. The pool is situated in a glass box. its eightmetre ceiling height giving a sense of monumental space while glass windows let in the sunlight from three directions in the daytime and the twinkling lights of the city at night. The space is divided into two - the twenty-five-metre pool on one side, and the hot plunge pool and deck on the other, where old-fashioned coloured deckchairs bring in a sense of quaint seaside holidays. Overhead, six huge custom-designed feature lights hang, glowing through an opaque fabric skin, the shape inspired by a traditional Japanese shade. "I wanted this to feet like an outdoor space," Coptov says. "If you were outdoors, above the lounges
you would put an umbrella. Well you're not going to have an umbrella inside, so the lights became the umbrella, at t he same t ime acting as a beacon from the exterior." The lsika day spa can be reached via the pool deck or from the dedicated spa accommodation on level 26. With moody lighting and a materials palette including timber, soft linen curtains and large-scale photographic wallpapers, this is a serene environment, with sculptural pieces by Australian artists Pamela See, Marion Borgelt and Kate Hendry lining the walls. Two floors above on level 28 is an exclusive club, access to which is reserved for only some guests. Called Level 28, the club logo has been designed by Fabio Ongarato, act ualized in a bespoke sculptural sign made of timber and standing alongside a neon artwork by Chan Yu.lnside the club, the ribbon theme conlinues in the form of a screen of metallic blades that weaves through the space, creating intimate seating areas and separating public from staff areas. Spectacu lar views abound from this, t he top floor of the building. It is difficult to describe how big this project really is, but perhaps some statistics will help. At $300 million and 658 rooms, the project took a relatively short three years. Architecturally, there were twenty-six architect s and designers who worked on the project - three of whom spent six months just checking rooms for defects. Each check took two hours and each room was checked twice. Considering how complicated the functional brief of a project like this is, Bates Smart's achievement in creating a sexy, boutique look and feel is impressive. In large part, this is thanks to a team who individually selected so much of the accessories. artworks and other pieces specifically for each space. It is also thanks to a willingness to design custom pieces for the hotel and to commission works by local and international craftspeople and artists. The use of oversized indoor lighting plays a part too, acting as a beacon to the outside to tie the hotel into the Crown family. And the continuation of a weaving. ribbon-like shape throughout the architecture, coupled with the S shape of the building, means this is a project that is not straight in any sense of the word. A
artworks The ground floor showcases Australian artist NOOt Skrzypczak's large mural painting. seven sculptural timber balls made out of chestnut by Korean artist Lee Jae-Hyo. a stunning black metal wall sculpture by Hong Kong artist Annfielde Chan and custom-designed carpets by Bates Smart and New York textile designers, NIBA. Running the full length of Maze and Maze Grill is a three-dimensional mural as well as a series of smaller. intimate sketches by Melbourne's David Band. In the Business Centre. Australian artist Jayne Dyer's metal butterfly sculpture takes pride of place in the pre-function area. The meeting rooms are high-lighted by a series of still-life photographs by leading Melbourne photographer Earl Carter. A striking mounted wall sculpture by Sydney's Marion Borgelt, elegant feather installations by Brisbane's
12_ THE TOWER FORMS AN S SHAPE IN IMPOSING BLACK, WHILE A SINUOUS RIBBON WINDS AROUND THE BUILDING AT FIRST FLOOR HEIGHT. PHOTOGRAPHY, I-ll_ SHANNON MCGRATH 12_ JOHN GOLUNGS
project Crown Metropol
8 Whiteman Street Southbank Vic 3005
+ 61 3 9~92 8888 www.crownmetrop:>l.com.au design practice
Bates Smart 1 Nicholson Street Melbourne Vic 3000 +61 3 8664 6200 www.batessmart.c:>m project team Jeffery Copolov. Kristen Whittle. Roger Poole (directors) and Futvio Facci, Claudia Fleuter. Roger Chapman. Mirjana Sazunic. Kendra Pinkus. Andrew Raftopoulos. Grant Filipoft.Jan Eastwood. Jemes Christophidis Anke Pfeifer. Ben Nicholas. Simone Morgan. Hilary Griffiths, Amanda Furness. Mark DiBortolo. Tony Antoniou. Brian Mason. Tammy Yu. Craig Benton. Liz Dcube. Wee Long Fay. Vivek Matthews. AlexZudich builder Baulderstone civil engineer Aurecon project manager
Jinton quantity surveyor Rider Leven Bucknall Victoria earthworks Delta Landscaping
John Patrick fire engineer
Thomas Nicholas mechanical systems
contractor AESmith slgnage manufacturers Claude Neon (exterior. Diadem) Premier Graphics (interior)
graphic design Fabio Ongarato Design products exterior Cladding is Alucobond Natural . Roofing is Lysaght Spandek Woodland Grey anc Alucobond. Facade design is Bates Smart and Aurecon.
Facade contractor is GJames (tower) and Minesco (podium). walls Chinese black slate wall tiles from Edwards Slate and Stone. Other tiles from Buckleys Ceramics, Urban Edge, Artedomus. Erneste Tile Concepts.Jo Luping Design & Prime Ceramics. Plynyl to walls by Chilewich. Wallpapers by Grant Dorman. Seneca Textiles and Radford Furnishings. windows Blinds and drapes from DAAC Holdings and Turner Brothers. flooring Custom rugs and carpets designed by Bates Smart and NIBA and manufactured by Brintons. Carpets by Feltex. Bolon woven textured vinyl from TAG Floor. Quartz carpet by Alternative Surfaces. Vinyl by Artigo Rubber Flooring. Armstrong & Gerflor. Blustone floors in custom rhomboid shape supplied by Baron Forge. Terrazzo supplied by Til. Tiles by Classic Ceramics. Ceramic Solutions. Erneste Tile Concepts and Metz Tiles. lighting
Pamela See and two contemporary paintings by Melbourne's Miranda Skoczek are beautifully displayed in and around the luxurious lsika day spa on level 27. Above, on level 28. a brightly coloured painting by Hong Kong artist Chan Yu in the lift lobby leads through to an installation within the sandblasted timber bookshelves of the lounge and dining areas by Australian artist David Sequiera. while a commissioned pale blue glass sculpture by New Zealandbased artist Christine Cathie appears floating one reflective surface on the top of the island banquette. The 658 guest rooms. studios and lofts feature artwork by David Band in collaboration with Fraser Taylor. which have been individually hand-painted. providing unique pieces to each hotel room. In "The Apartment." an eclectic collection of mixed media pieces creates a feature gallery wall.
TYPICAL FLOOR PLAN 1:1000
Maze restaurant feature
pendants by Foscarini (available in Australia at Space Furniture). Heat lamps and blown-glass lamps in Maze restaurant and feature lights at pool deck are designed by Bates Smart and manufactured by Design Sense. Custom Stick lights designed by Bates Smart and manufactured by Lampada. furniture Maze restaurant and Level 28 club furniture includes custom timber tables with ceramic Inserts designed by Bates Smart. Ceramic inserts by artist Brian Keyte via Skepsi Gallery. Custom banquette seating designed by Bates Smart. Other furniture from Classique, Walter Knoll (available at Stylecraft and FY2K) and Moroso (available at Hub Furniture). bathroom Suppliers include Reece. Rogerseller. Decina and Apaiser Bathware.
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TYPICAL ROOM 1:200
Guest lift lobby Goods lift lobby Kitchen Bar l ounge
AIa carte Buffet Private dining Upper level lobby Car park lobby Crown car park Retail