View (2012 - present)
Asian Pacific Building Corporation has developed a unique range of boutique ‘art’ hotels in Australia. The Olsen, Cullen and Blackman hotels of Melbourne are branded throughout with the original art works, prints and design elements of John Olsen, Adam Cullen and Charles Blackman respectively, all under the banner of the Art Hotels Group. In Adelaide the concept is being expanded with Art City, a boutique hotel, apartment and serviced office complex in the landmark two-tower 1964 Highways Administration Building at Walkerville.
Tectvs has retained the building skeleton and aspects of the original design intent in the redesign of a significant example of 1960s international ‘brutalist’ style architecture and construction. However, its harsh lines and materiality have been softened and smoothed to change the visual identity from commercial workplace to aspirational lifestyle and residential location. The two existing 9-storey towers have been topped with two additional floors that include a penthouse level and provided the opportunity to design a roof form with strong visual appeal. New forms have been designed to compliment the existing ‘60s style. Sculptural concrete spiral stairs wind their way from the ground to a sculptured first-floor rooftop garden. Landscape design was also inspired by free-flowing ‘60s design, specifically that of Burle Max, a leading exponent of the times. The art-house feel is carried through the internal spaces, where common areas and accommodation alike will serve as exhibition spaces for the client’s extensive indigenous art collection in the signature style of the Art Hotels Group.
At a technical level Tectvs adopted sustainable design and adaptive reuse principles to enhance the existing structure in terms of maximising northern orientation, optimising living spaces for human well-being, and utilising large balcony overhangs to maximise shading and minimise heat load to reduce the need for high-performance glazing and, in turn, reduce air-conditioning and plant load.
Named after significant Indigenous Australian artist Tommy Watson, The Watson is an integrated design solution that enhances the original 60's built fabric to create a place worth visiting for a unique experience of boutique luxury.