2019 Eat Drink Design Awards: Best Hotel Design

Joint winner: The Calile Hotel by Richards and Spence

Jury comment

The Calile Hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley is a prime example of a large budget put to fantastic use. The design works to conjure an impressive sense of luxe escapism, creating a resort atmos-phere despite its intensely urban location. Every space is well-considered, both materially and functionally, allowing an effortless flow between public, semi-private and private spaces. Its white brick, stone and expressed concrete structure and restrained colour palette are so unique and striking that it already has a sense of the iconic. The hotel is inviting to the public while maintaining the required sense of exclusivity for registered guests, adding remarkable value to the broader neighbourhood and city. The attention to even the smallest detail – particularly on such a large and ambitious project – is wildly impressive. The jury believes it is this detail-oriented thinking, along with The Calile’s memorable aesthetic, that makes this an internationally significant project.

Design statement

The Calile Hotel is a prime example of mixed use. With a ground floor area of 10,715 square metres, it incorporates a 175-room hotel, retail, hospitality, function facilities and associated car parking and service amenities. Planning is critical to the hotel’s success, with service lifts, maids’ room, storage, administration and dock facilities located for maximum efficiency and minimum impact on guests. The passive design takes best advantage of the Queensland weather. The journey from lobby to pool cabana is a continuous outdoor experience. A podium-level pool terrace transports guests to holiday mode. Hotel corridors ventilated with ceiling fans via customized breeze block screens continue the outdoor experience naturally. Significant planting extends across the project as a verdant overlay linking streets to rooms. The Calile Hotel reflects a strong relationship between client, operator and architect to realize a long-term ambition.

The Calile Hotel
48 James Street
Fortitude Valley, Qld

Richards and Spence
Project team: Ingrid Richards, Adrian Spence, Tahnee Sullivan, Jared Webb, Nicole Rowley, Stuart Hall, Yaseera Moosa, Daniel Wilson, Henry Bennett
24 Cowlishaw Street
Bowen Hills, Qld

See the whole gallery of images at the Eat Drink Design Awards website.

The 2019 Eat Drink Design Awards are organized by Architecture Media and supported by major partner Chandon Australia; supporting partners Harbour, Latitude, Ownworld, Roca and Tasmanian Timber and event partner Four Pillars Gin, Jetty Road Brewery and S.Pellegrino.

The Eat Drink Design Awards are endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects and the Design Institute of Australia.

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