Location: Brisbane, Australia.

Architect: SJB.

The Fantuazzo hotel is located in the Howard Smith Wharves revitalisation precinct in Brisbane, Australia. The precinct aims to reconnect locals, the broader community and tourists to a newly energised entertainment hub complete with exhibition spaces, wine bars, veggie gardens, local brewery, dining and hospitality, panoramic pedestrian and cycling boulevards, and accommodation. The hotel was designed as an extension of the cliff and a kind of ‘non-building’ to respect the old wharf buildings and remnants of bunkers from World War 2. The building acts as a backdrop to the heritage wharf buildings along the waterfront, allowing them to be prominent and distinctly identifiable. The hotel is sited within an incredibly challenging location, particularly from a construction point of view. Its hugs the eroded cliff, sits directly under Story Bridge, along the river, and behind heritage buildings. Complex engineering from a structural, hydraulic and acoustic point of view needed to be implemented. The construction itself required serious coordination, sequencing and surveying to minimise any impact on the natural topography of the site, and in allowing safe construction of the site. The hotel interiors act as pulsating, cave-like spaces, a backdrop of dark tones and muted finishes that challenge the traditional ‘white gallery’ space with works from artist Vincent Fantauzzo adorning all the walls.

Photo credit: Tom Blachford, Aaron Puls.