As the recommended hotel for anyone visiting Contemporary Wine In Design this year, the Alex Hotel was designed by architects Space Agency and interior designers Arent&Pyke, and was planned to respond to its unique site and existing building. This has the hotel standing unique and completely distinct from a global chain. Representing so much of the future of A+D we’re dreaming of, The Alex Hotel is a must-see (and certainly a must-stay!) of Perth’s culture and design scene.
Upon approach to the Alex Hotel, prospective guests are immediately lured by an architectural drama quite distinct from Perth’s usual aesthetic fare – and yet, one can’t help feeling that the building exudes something quintessentially autochthonous to the city. Balancing the foreign with the familiar, the material choices (thanks to the team at Space Agency) are both considerate and inspired. Pre-cast concrete panels are pride of place as external cladding, arranged throughout interior and exterior facades to create modulation and levity to the scale and aspect of the structure. Meanwhile, navigating the interiors from lobby through to mezzanine, greyscale concretes secede to a tonality of warm timbers and crisp steel accented by a perforated curtain of bronzed anodised aluminium. In what represents a very amusing approach to interior spatial design, these exposed and raw finishes interact playfully with Arent&Pyke’s joyous eclecticism across furnishings, textiles and fixtures.
Renegotiating these aesthetic boundaries follows through to the behavioural patterns that colour guests’ memories of their stay at the Alex Hotel. It’s not uncommon for guests to remark on the manner and ease by which staff facilitate every aspect of our enjoyment and relaxation. Everything from staff and guests standing on the same side of the counter when checking in, to standing beside the person making coffee in the lobby cafe, and guests helping themselves to a drink in the communal kitchen, the layout of the space has been designed to convey a welcoming environment for all.
“When we design someone’s living space we become quite intimate with their day-to-day experience of each other and the really important relationships they have with one another,” says Juliete Arent of interior designers Arent&Pyke, who brought this approach to the communal living spaces of the Alex hotel.
The communal bar and breakfast area on the mezzanine level, along with the lobby and outdoor terraces, have been designed to encourage guests to spend time outside of their rooms and enjoy a communal style of living when travelling.
The concept of “hotel as home” was the driving force for the Arent&Pyke team, who aimed to create a space that could foster the same emotional connection for hotel visitors as for their residential projects. “It came down to the way people use the shared spaces and making them feel incredibly inviting so that people form a connection or feel at ease the minute they walk into the space,” says Arent.
Winning the Australian Interior Design Award for Hospitality came as no surprise to manager Miles Hunn, “We have had an overwhelming response by both travellers to Perth and locals alike. We had always thought that Perth was ready for an individual hotel like Alex, and the market has proven it was ready to adopt us.”
If you’re indulging in the finest in wine and design across Perth this Contemporary Wine In Design, why not match your experiences with an award-winning hotel stay? Booking for the Alex Hotel is available online and you definitely do not want to miss out on a stay you’ll never forget.
To live, work and play in design this October 15th, be sure to register your attendance at Contemporary Wine In Design here.