A plant-filled courtyard provides escape from city bustle

Sydney – A hotel tucked between two buildings can be a tricky site, potential challenges including a lack of natural light and spare views. Positioned in the heart of the city, between the Sydney Harbour and the Central Business District, West Hotel is located in such a site; just at the edge of the harbour, but with no waterfront views. Woods Bagot responded to the constraints by composing an ‘eight-storey-high mini-rainforest atrium’, pointing inwards to bring peace and tranquillity to the bustling area. A shaft of light pierces into the botanical oasis at the heart of the building.

Around the tropical courtyard, lush interiors in dark, moody hues of blue and grey define the guests’ experience. The strong, geometric language of the walls and floors is accented with walnut and brass elements that make up the fixtures and fittings. According to the designers, the building’s ‘distinctive, crystal-like facade by architects Fitzpatrick and Partners provided the reference point for the interiors, with the team drawing from the pattern to create a consistent narrative from outside in.’

Top: The eight-storey atrium is open to the elements, allowing sunshine to stream into the courtyard on a sunny day; or the smell of plants in the rain. | Middle: In the hotel lobby, a tile mural hand-painted on Turkish tiles by artist Di Hoath with Di Emme depicts the Australian native flower Waratah, which has become a signature of the West Hotel brand. A floating light installation custom-fabricated by craftspeople at Di Emme completes the entrance hall. | Bottom: A geometric diamond floor pattern composed in timber and marble brings life to the hotel’s social areas and adds a spark of energy to the otherwise dimly-lit rooms.

An art-deco-inspired bar, constructed in hand-formed green Italian terrazzo, adds to the sophisticated aesthetic. Despite the dark tones, the open-plan nature of the interior configuration ensures that the hotel’s public zones feel connected and open. This continues throughout to the hotel’s 182 guest rooms, where the doors between the social areas and bathrooms are made from smoked glass to create the illusion of a larger, more open space.


This project was featured in the latest volume of our hospitalty-design series, Night Fever 6. Get your copy here.

Location 65 Sussex St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Liked this article?
We've got more for you

Sign up to our newsletter for weekly updates. Or view the archive.

Execution time : 0,441396951675 seconds