Nectar and Johnathan Efkarpidis, co-directors of Molonglo Group, conceptualized a holistic hotel founded on the principles of sustainability, community, diversity and lifestyle. What they created was Hotel Hotel, a “uniquely Australian” place of respite.
The hotel, located in the New Acton section of Australia’s capital, Canberra, is ideal for People People who will take advantage of the many cultural institutions, exhibitions, gardens and festivals around the area. The eclectic group of business and culture travelers, art lovers, university students, and locals keep this bustling area culturally rich, hip, and trendy.
The Hotel itself is part of a “vertical village” of sorts created through collaboration by Australian architectural firm, Fender Katsalidis and Japan’s Suppose Design Office. Three levels of the Nishi residential building create Hotel Hotel. The residential building also holds “facilities delivering the best of global cinema, independent book and pop-up stores, music and local cafes and bars.”
The hotel’s “urban-scale interlocking geometrical structure” is built from recycled timber and off-form concrete. Unexpected uses of humble materials make up all of Hotel Hotel’s public spaces in an effort to celebrate imagination and intimate social community day and night.
A grand staircase made from recycled timbers welcomes visitors into the living-room-style hotel foyer designed by March Studio in collaboration with Oculus. Woven rough-formed concrete structural lintels create the vast yet strong single space, which hold pieces from Broached Commissions chosen to reflect Canberra’s design and cultural history. For instance, Broached Commissions designer Lucy McRae created a tessellated mirror for behind the reception desk that emulates the primitive modernism of Waler Burley Griffin. Anna-Wili Highfield designed the hotel’s Moth and Owl chandeliers. Her inspiration came from studying the migration paths of local animals.
The hotel also holds six conference and event spaces designed by Melbourne based Design Office and a “main street” made up of a bar and lounge offering 24 hour room service and a changing menu that uses local produce and features a curated wine list.
The diversification of the hotels 68 rooms and 28 apartments, deigned by filmmaker Don Cameron, is what makes every stay at Hotel Hotel so unique. Each room is styled very differently. Cameron incorporated his skill with framing, color and texture into the design of the rooms. All spaces are dressed in raw organic materials such as “bespoke joinery made from reclaimed oak, wallpapers made from natural fibers and earthen clay rendered walls” which endure and develop with the passing of time. This contrasts the “throw away” culture of contemporary design by instead highlighting the natural beauty of the materials.
Hotel Hotel’s rooms are adorned with Bespoke furniture and art by Danish artist Alfio Bonann and New York-based Steven Siegel. The combination of each aspect of Hotel Hotel offers guests a delightful stay with art, nature, and each other.
Photography Courtesy of Hotel Hotel | Writing by: Jessica Britvich