The Alex Hotel, Perth
From the outside looking in, the unorthodox building is striking, beautiful and certainly unusual. The hotel that sits within it is, too, quirky and boasts its own cool yet sophisticated character. “The client’s concept was for an ‘independent traveller’ hotel – specific to its site and location, as distinct from a global chain,” says spaceagency architecture firm. “The emphasis is on the experience of the place. Architecturally this was interpreted into a site specific building that, due to its L-shape footprint has two addresses.”
The award-winning interiors by Arent & Pyke are typically unconventional with clear thought going in to each corner to create a hotel like no other. An unusual colour palate evokes a sense of relaxation. Its home-away-from-home feel is appropriate to reflect the demands from modern city travellers and is felt most in the communal areas. “The hotel responds to overarching concept of the ‘Hotel and Home’,” explains Arent & Pyke. “The interior design, furnishing and styling imagines the richness, the personality, a sense of frivolity and the layering of a story.”
Within the seven-storey building, guests are encouraged to inhabit the communal areas instead of being cooped up in their rooms. Therefore the architecture of the living area is open, light and very welcoming with a cautious approach to detailing. The finishes have been purposely kept as raw as possible with exposed pipework and off-form concrete soffits. The contrast between the rough surfaces and the accented furniture marry up to create an unconventional yet striking interior. Upstairs, 74 rooms have been deliberately designed to be compact in contrast to the public areas of the hotel.
It soon becomes apparent why this hotel is unique and why its ‘cool’ personality within is award winning. The judges sum it up perfectly at the 2016 Dulux Colour Awards when describing Arent & Pyke’s work: “The Alex Hotel is an example of how a strategic yet subtle approach to colour can result in effortless sophistication. Raw and refined, a beautiful, unusual palette evokes a sense of relaxation and serenity with clever and well thought out precision, creating a homely and immersive environment.”