Luxury Hotel Market & Apartments

Market Insights
8 years ago
3 minutes

Architects and developers are increasingly banking on the future of Melbourne’s luxury hotel market as the state braces for a surge in international tourists from Asia and beyond over the coming years, with 399 Little Lonsdale Street the latest site to be approved for hotel use in the form of a 478-room high-rise offering.

Backed by City of Melbourne and the Minister’s Office, 399 Little Lonsdale Street will give rise to Melbourne’s first dual hotel in the form of a 270-room three-star Ibis hotel and a separate 208-room four-star Novotel offering, both operating under the one roof.

This changing face of Melbourne’s city skyline comes as international tourist arrivals reached a record 6.3 million visitors last year, with developers and architects now following suit in the race to deliver the extra 20,000 hotel rooms expected to be required by 2020 in order to cater for the demand*.

Patterned glass will feature a combination of different colours and degrees of opacity to enrich user experience and offer a balance between transparency and privacy.

The amended permit was granted by Minister Wynne last week on the basis that the 1080-square-metre site become a stand-alone hotel rather than a mixed-use tower as was initially proposed by developer Well Smart Investment Holdings.

Designed by K2LD Architects, 399 Little Lonsdale Street will be iconic in nature and inspired by the texture of the city, with the striking façade set to make a rich contribution to the surrounding urban fabric.

“We approached the design of the building differently, envisaging the built form as a fabric in which the stories and journeys of its transient inhabitants are interwoven with the urban cityscape,” said K2LD Principal, Tisha Lee.

“ With the building’s use as a dual hotel in mind, we were able to push the boundaries of design to create something that will become iconic in nature, just as the Westin and Sofitel have become iconic forms in Collins Street, we wanted to create a similar effect at 399 Little Lonsdale Street,” she said.

To the west, patterned concrete allows the building to be read as a single expression, whilst a landscaped laneway has been introduced to draw visitors into the site and establish a connection to Hardware Lane.

Cantilevering forms above the laneway at Level One offer enhanced experiences from both below and above. Fostering greater interaction at a pedestrian level, the podium will house common areas including a bar, lounge, restaurant, gym and conference facilities that span an entire floor.

“ The internal social spaces allow for greater ambiguity between public and private areas, with the podium level acting as a veil that both shields and reveals at the discretion of the guest,” says Lee.

With retail offerings set to be delivered at street level, the site will engage with neighbouring buildings in a distinctive manner through its varied materials and setbacks.

Construction on the development, which will boast a total gross floor area of 25,986 square metres, is due to commence in March 2016.