The proposed award winning Gorge Hotel in Launceston, has been designed to be an iconic building that will provide a connection between the Launceston CBD and the surrounding natural beauty of greater Launceston. Town planning for the 4.5 to 5 stars hotel has now been submitted.

The Gorge Hotel has been inspired by nature, crafted through function and designed to amplify the area’s key features. The design philosophy takes its inspiration from the natural beauty of the Cataract Gorge, capturing its visual beauty, its ruggedness and its geological and structural formations. The Gorge waterfall inspired the cascading tessellated glass on the building’s façade to promote the appearance of flowing water with the segmented glazed panels reflecting and responding to the changing environmental factors throughout the day to create a dynamic visual experience. The building has been orientated and designed to take advantage of the surrounding views at all levels to maximise views of the extraordinary natural surrounding context, be it of the Gorge, city or river.

Primarily a hotel complex, it will accommodate approximately 145 suites within 8 levels, with the top floor reserved for 5 star penthouse suites which will have excellent views and orientation with a strong focus on the river and the Gorge. The building will also provide public amenities, parking and conference/function facilities within its podium levels, while a restaurant, bar, flexible function areas and a day spa will be integrated into the first floor design.

The design will endeavour to incorporate environmental and energy efficient practices, materials, services and construction systems to minimise its environmental footprint. We envisage a high level of ESD initiatives, such as photovoltaic cells, eco-friendly materials, passive and active thermal performing design, materials and services.

Various design opportunities have led to the final design of The Gorge Hotel providing the opportunity for strong architectural design to create a visual transition between Launceston and the natural surroundings. Geographically the low lying site offers both constraints and opportunities. Consideration relating to flooding and stormwater, is balanced by the opportunity for greater height with reduced visual and physical impact to the surroundings. The heritage buildings located in close proximity required careful design consideration, as does minimising amenity impact to the surrounding residential interfaces.

Materiality ties back to the architectural representation of the relationship between stone and water in the Cataract Gorge. The tower spine and podium represent the stone while the suites articulated glazing represents the movement of the water. The design interprets the physical rock formations of the Gorge through the rugged and textured walls that frame the building elements, in particular those of the podium levels. The solidity of the podium will create a foundational strength from which the upper elements can cascade over.

Competing against five architectural firms from across the country, we are proud our initial design response was the winning concept as we now move through bringing the project to life. Our focus remains to create a timeless, high quality and everlasting piece of architecture for the city, its residents and future guests. Currently awaiting Town Planning review, the hotel is anticipated to be completed 2020.

For more information visit the full project description here