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2018 Melbourne, Australia
Commercial, Hospitality

399 Little Lonsdale

2018 Melbourne, Australia
Commercial, Hospitality

View project All projects

The complexity associated with a hotel is taken to another level when the brief for this singular building is to accommodate two: a 3-star and a 4-star hotel.

  • 399 Little Lonsdale St. is a hotel tower rising 38 storeys out of Melbourne’s CBD - right in its inner grid of laneways, alleys and arcades whose murals draw a steady stream of visitors, camera-ready, on any given day.

  • In this quintessentially Melburnian located veined with culture and character, we felt it was important that 399 fitted in purposefully and meaningfully as a new neighbour.

Wrapped in glass, the building’s exterior reads as a fabric-like composition of coloured grids - a vertical echo of the city’s latticed ground plane. Much like it’s city’s culture, the building’s skin is a rich variegation - with the pattern also serving to blur any distinction between the two hotels within.

  • What it does instead, through the use of these devices, is provide layers that map a shift in activity up the tower, over and above how the extent of accommodation might naturally express activity within a hotel. This condition where the facades fade and shift, permanently engages the building in an active dialogue with the cityscape or skyline.

  • The facades here at 399 Lonsdale Street subtly try to invert that traditional spandrel/window relationship. With the use of colour shifts, opacity and transparency in the curtain wall panels, the facade manages to disguise the transition in floor levels throughout the height of the tower.

What would otherwise have been a 20 metre solid and closed front is made permeable, so the building generously allows pass-throughs. A part of the land was used to create a new laneway sending art lovers towards some of Melbourne’s best mural stretches.

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