The essence of our approach was to create a ‘re-purposed’ waterfront warehouse, where its provenance / history is still visible in its new form. The new building reflects the overall massing and relates directly to Mac 02, its immediate neighbour on the floor of Sullivans Cove. Mac 01 is four levels; composed of a ground floor of restaurants/bars etc, with three upper floors of hotel rooms, all of which will have outdoor balconies.
Warehouses were traditionally simple structures, and the aim of the Mac 01 design is to create a new vocabulary of forms that espouses the broad design idea of warehouse, whilst not being one. The way this has been done is to create the new balcony decks in a manner that creates a sense of robustness, which evokes the materials and textures of the old buildings, whilst still being an honest expression of what they are – outdoor decks to hotel rooms. The balconies on both sides of the new building will be formed using sizeable balks of timber, left to ‘grey off’ to a natural weathered state.
The eastern and western facades address the two open forecourts at either end in a way that will visually add ‘vitality and movement’ to animate them. It is proposed to use a series of varied sized fine vertical timber slats which will provide a more formal backdrop to whatever is going on in the more public areas. Furthermore, the timber battens on the East / West facade tie together with the North / South facade elements of timber boxes and timber screen elements to provide a cohesive design approach to the building.
The final element to further animate the ends of the building is the introduction at either end of a three dimensional faceted vertical recess, a chasm which runs the length of the building. The chasm will break up the main gable ends. It is intentional that the nature of this chasm is somewhat enigmatic in form. They reflect externally the sloping angle of the large organic wall which is a primary design element of the interior of the hotel, as well as allowing a direct view out from the hotel passages.
The ground floor northern wall is envisioned as off-form concrete, further amplifying the robustness of the material selection against large expanses of glazing, maximising and highlighting the buildings view lines on the wharf apron.
Enlivening the open ‘working’ spaces at the east and western ends of the Mac 01 shed will create unique public areas where the general public will be able to enjoy the best harbour-front views across the water to the city itself with Mt Wellington behind it.
Commercial Architecture Award
Australian Institute of Architects (TAS)