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Hospitality Design – Alterations/Additions

Oddfellows Hotel

Winner: Hospitality Design – Alterations/Additions
Winner: Heritage Conservation Project – Non-Residential
Winner: Nagy Design Pty Ltd

(03) 9574 8833
Brett Holmberg

Oddfellows Hotel, in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, has significant historical and architectural value. Other hotels of a comparable age in central Melbourne are either of a different style or have been substantially altered. Rediscovering this building, and accommodating the contemporary extension, was a challenge that was met by refined design, which respects the intertwining of old and new.

The marriage of the sharp contemporary form of the addition with the older, more familiar form of the Victorian building provides a strong urban feel typical of the Melbourne CBD. Internally, simple detailing prevails, with some areas of the original fabric of the older building left exposed. In a quirky reference to the fact that the building is located within a ‘red light’ district, red accent lighting has been employed at various key points. The bold timber elements of the bars make reference to the earlier forms of construction and assist with integrating the old and new areas.

The project also won the award for Heritage Conservation Project – Non-Residential.

The existing Victorian building, constructed in the 1850s, is listed with Heritage Victoria and is of State Significance. The contemporary form of the addition successfully ties the significant fabric into the glass and steel high-rise element of the development. By providing a link to this dominant structure, the significant building is included in the scheme of the development without being enveloped by it and treated as an artefact. Attention to the scale of the addition allows the older building to maintain its presence in the streetscape by providing separation from the dominant element of the high-rise building.

High tech contemporary materials and sharply honed geometric forms have been grafted on to the significant building in a manner that is visually dynamic but non-intrusive. Further integration with the bluestone and render of the Victorian building is ensured through the use of a subdued palette of greys and the shadowy patterns of the screen-like cladding, the transparency of glass balustrading and the anchoring, plinth-like form of the outdoor area at ground level.