The Old Clare Hotel
2011 - 2015
The Old Clare Hotel has been conceived as a collection of buildings, linked to each other and woven into the city. The new hotel stitches together the two inherited buildings, the Carlton United Brewery Administration Building and the County Clare Hotel. The design encloses the former laneway, creating a rich hierarchy of public and private spaces.
The Hotel contains 62 rooms and suites, three restaurants, ground level bar, roof-top swimming pool and bar, along with basement service space accessing all areas of the hotel.
The Hotel is clearly organised around the ‘laneway foyer’, allowing guests to simply navigate their way through a range of adapted and new spaces. Primary uses, including reception, bar and restaurant and conference functions, are accommodated in the historic County Clare Hotel at the front of the site, whilst the repetitive pattern of the Administration Building naturally lends itself to the cellular nature of hotel room organisation. Within the Administration Building a public stair winds itself around the visible lift shaft inside a void that visually connects all of the floors from the foyer to the roof top swimming pool.
The magic of the Hotel lies in its adaptive reuse, whereby the collection of inherited urban artefacts, each imbued with memories and associations, are linked by a series of new uses relevant to the Sydney of today. Walking through the Hotel is like going on an adventure through a building that seems to be as much about un-building as it is about building. The process of un-building naturally leaves its own record of saw cuts and prop holes, all of which add to the composition of the finished building. In this way, points in history and processes in past construction are captured and revealed in the fabric of the building, leading to a reinvigoration of the past and a sophisticated complexity in the fabric of the architecture.
The Hotel adds to the connectivity of new Central Park precinct by reactivating the disused lane between the buildings, and at ground level, reworks the recently redeveloped Kensington Street, allowing two new restaurants to activate the newly pedestrian thoroughfare.
Tim Greer, John Chesterman, Jarrod Hughes, Sujata Bajracharya, Matilda Watson, Jo Bastian, Nazia Kachwalla, Belinda Pajkovic, Roger O’Sullivan