Darwin Westin, the proposed $200 million luxury hotel project on the Darwin Waterfront from Westin Hotels and Resorts has received approval from the Development Consent Authority. Construction will commence soon and the hotel is scheduled to open in 2021.
Architecture firm Bates Smart has based their design on a vision to create an iconic tropical hotel that embodies the rich natural and cultural heritage of the location. The waterfront address inspired the architects to make an important connection between the city and the water in the design, enhancing the precinct and acting as a gateway to the natural wonders of the Northern Territory.
Bates Smart Studio director, Cian Davis says, “Our intention is for the hotel to embody the spirit of Darwin, the land and nature and to create an identity that is uniquely connected to the Northern Territory.”
After studying the geography and history of the site, and understanding the climatic requirements, Bates Smart architects used a curved form for the building, referencing the layered histories of the waterfront.
The use of natural stone complemented by lush landscaping and water features on the lower levels of the hotel, captures the spirit of the local landscape. Verandas and breezeways respond to the tropical environment, while referencing the city’s heritage buildings.
Tree canopies are the inspiration for the hotel’s upper levels, with the use of dark metal and timber screens creating dappled patterns of light and providing valuable shading.
Keeping the local climate in mind, the design uses a seawall to protect the hotel from significant weather events and cyclonic wave activity. This feature also provides a generous pedestrian path and access to the waterfront for the local community.
Key design features include a restaurant and bar in a garden setting providing patrons with an authentic Northern Territory dining experience while additional restaurant facilities are provided on the rooftop garden, which can also be accessed via a skywalk from Goyder Park. The roof also incorporates an infinity pool with an unforgettable outlook over the waterfront.