West Hotel, Sydney

The project brief was to design a building which responded to the character of the Western edge of the Sydney CBD, yet popped out as something that offered the unique or special.

The design carefully balances its scale and proportions to create a comfortable visual balance. It borrows ideas from the surrounding buildings of this part of the city, but then abstracts these elements to create something special. From the beginning, it was the people using the building and how this was represented in the architecture that would create that sparkle, that something special.

The diamanté studded or “Chanel handbag” façade idea was born from this thinking. It was a way to visually define each and every room, a way to address the issues of occupation, outlook, privacy and environment. The windows frame acts as a proscenium to the internal activities and this creates the energy of the building – lights on, lights off, curtains open or closed, voyeuristic or private. This variability of use creates the cacophony of visual expression which is the building. The façade is the building’s expression, but in reality it is the activities of the guests within which creates the building’s memorable character

In alignment with this, we kept the colour and material palettes simple and elegant. Working with the interior design team, the building’s external material and colour pallet was continued inside. An unique botanical object and colour theming strategy was devised as an overlay to this base, creating stronger accents and feature overlays.

The result is a building which sits comfortably within its city CBD context, defined by how it is used, and visually rich in its character and expression.