Hotel Kurrajong, Barton ACT

role Architecture, Interior Design value $12 million area 7,132m² completion date December 2014 client Toga Group

The historic Hotel Kurrajong, built in 1926 by the Commonwealth’s chief architect John Murdoch, was originally designed as dormitory style accommodation to house the first administrative and political staff to move to the new capital city. After undergoing numerous renovations and conversions, the run down Hotel Kurrajong was bought by a joint venture; hotel group Toga Far East Hotels (TFE) and NRMA in 2013. This began an ambitious refurbishment programme which included a redesign of the building’s interiors.

The intention was to refurbish all nine, two-storey wings, internally and externally; (seven wings had been converted into a hospitality school and function centre in the 1990’s) and to restore all wings to a contemporary hotel. Facilities including the 147 guest suites, conference, meeting and function rooms and a restaurant were to be refurbished true to the hotel’s original character and charm. Restoration works also included renovating an existing heritage foyer area, a central function and dining space and adjacent verandah areas in a style sympathetic with the hotel’s art deco design origins.

peckvonhartel was awarded the project post concept design and developed the design intent through planning and building permit stages. Subsequently peckvonhartel progressed the documentation through both tender and construction phases and provided extensive construction phase support for the client during construction works over a period of 18 months.

Collaborative work with specialist consultants enabled peckvonhartel to overcome added complexities such as heritage constraints and the building work required to satisfy building code requirements for fire, access and egress, acoustic and DDA design. Despite the inherent difficulties of refurbishing an existing building, peckvonhartel successfully delivered a project which incorporated the ambitious requirements of the brief within an historic building fabric.