Curve Appeal

With some of Richard Carr’s recent developments including hotels, such as the £100m regeneration of Salterns Marina Poole, he is always on the lookout for new and innovative hotel designs to inspire his next project.

Design down under

Richard Carr reviews Vibe Hotel

How behind is the UK when it comes to hotel development?

Canberra, in Australia, has recently unveiled its striking new hotel featuring some highly innovative and prominent architectural features – most notably its curved shape.

The Bates Smart – designed Vibe Hotel has drawn comparisons with the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

The airport-based hotel was designed by highly recognised architectural firm Bates Smart, whose vision won them the rights to carry out the building and interior design for the $50m hotel.

Given a 4.5 star rating, the Toga Far East (TFE) operated hotel was set to open earlier this month.

Social Focus

TDE’s Luke Saunder told the Canberra Times that the hotel’s full height circular atrium was designed in tribute to the Guggenheim Museum.

The social focus of the hotel will be formed on ground level with a large reception, conferencing facilities, restaurant, bar and lounges all located in the base of the atrium.

Above, 191 rooms including 12 suites and nine apartments will host guests.

Circular Theme

Discussing the design of the hotel, a design description by Bates Smart explained:

“The circular theme is echoed throughout the building in the facade and interior detailing. A glazed curtain wall screen with circular aluminium hoops wraps the form and ties it together as a singular object. The hoops act as a privacy screen for guests without loss of view. The interior finishes are rich and tailored, inspired by the golden age of air travel of the 1960s and ’70s,”

UK Design – flawed?

It’s very rare that you will see a UK hotel developer strike out and produce something like the ‘Vibe Hotel’. TFE’s aim is to appeal to the Asian market.

Richard Carr believes that hotel’s in the UK are far too conservative and lack the innovation of foreign developments. He thinks that developers should aim to be different with the hope of attracting guests from further afield than just the UK.

Richard believes that the big issue here is the cost of land in the UK which is a controlling factor on spend per sq ft. Most Luxury hotels need to have enabling development to make them viable.

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