Hotel Hotel

Canberra, Australia (2013 - Present)

The great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life — George Bernard Shaw.Author_Unknown_Google_Images_George Bernard Shaw_20160119-Screenshot We love that quote. And we love hotels.frank soltesz_cutawayhotel.jpg.pagespeed.ic.LvoutpaBTP

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Hotel Hotel is our first (hotel). A place of collaborative craftsmanship conceived of and made by artists, makers, designers and fantasists.

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The 68 hotel rooms are dressed with salvaged and restored 20th century Australian furniture, original artworks and objects (collected on our travels) and artisan made fittings and furnishings. Hotel Hotel has earned the support of our peers.1


For those people that travel regularly for work or come to stay in Canberra for a while we also manage apartments in the Nishi Residential building and broader NewActon.2 We have fitted the apartments out with the bones that make long stays comfortable – a fully equipped kitchen and laundry, a workspace, reupholstered vintage couches and chairs. Each one has views of the hills or the lake.

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Our intention for the apartments is that people occupy them. That they bring those items that make them feel at home even though they are on the road; that they domesticate the space the way they like it. We call these apartments Hotel Home.

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A ground floor of public lounges is occupied by Monster kitchen and bar and retail space, all within the Nishi Hotel Cinema Retail at NewActon.

Project NameHotel Hotel
Project TypeHotel business
Design TeamMolonglo Group, Oculus Landscape Architects, Fender Katsalidis Architects, March Studios, Don Cameron, Ken Neale, UP, Broached Commissions, Craig Tan Architects, Suppose Design Office
Size68 hotel rooms and 42 apartments
StatusCompleted 2013

Awards are tricky. Do they mean everything or nothing? Are they laurels to be rested on or simply gestures of encouragement that say ‘keep going’? Who knows. But there’s nothing worse than someone who won’t accept a compliment. So we smile and say thank you for this recognition and to all our co-conspirators who made these awards possible for our many Molonglo Group projects. See them listed here.

NewActon is a precinct on the edge of Canberra’s city centre that Molonglo Group is progressively restoring. It is built on the heritage grounds of Acton House, a late 1920s temporary housing facility for newly arrived employees of the capital. NewActon does at a precinct scale what the Burley Griffins attempted to achieve for the city: vegetable gardens deliver produce to the precinct restaurants; nature and architecture collide; and the architectural envelope folds into flora and art. The high-rise apartments (high but not too high) also feed into this ground level generously.