Construction has commenced on the $95-million redevelopment of the landmark luxury hotel InterContinental Sydney, following the final building approval granted by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

Owner-developer Mulpha Australia has engaged national construction group Built to commence a full refurbishment, which will enable the most significant improvements to the 32-storey Sydney hotel in over 30 years. The large-scale redevelopment will focus on enhancing the hotel’s public facing amenity while preserving its unique heritage including the original façade elements of the NSW Treasury Building dating back to 1851.

“This project is testament to our confidence and commitment in the future of our iconic flagship hotel, and of Sydney’s future as a global tourist and business destination. Although international tourism has been doing it tough this year, it will bounce back, and when it does, we believe it will be premier dress circle properties in unique locations such as this, that will be the major beneficiaries,” Mulpha CEO Greg Shaw said.

Based on the concept by New York architectural firm Rockwell Group, the design has been developed and detailed by local architecture studio Woods Bagot in collaboration with Built. Internally, the refurbishment project will cover over 500 guestrooms as well as corridors, the ground level including the Macquarie Street entry and receptions, the all-day dining restaurant, and the Level 31 gym and pool. New additions include an iconic public bar within the heritage central court, and another new bar within the Level 32 Club InterContinental lounge that will be open to the public.

The external work will include upgrading the iconic entrance on Phillip Street to ensure all-abilities access, roof alterations and expansion of the top-level Club InterContinental lounge, new greenery along the Phillip Street façade, and replacement of the tower’s awnings and windows.

Classified as a state significant development (SSD), the project is expected to employ up to 140 workers at its peak during construction, while generating an additional $10 million in annual economic benefit. The redevelopment is scheduled to be completed in early 2022. The hotel will remain operational throughout most of the works.

Describing the InterContinental Sydney as one of Australia’s most loved and iconic hotels, Leanne Harwood, managing director – Australasia & Japan, IHG commented, “IHG and Mulpha Australia have enjoyed a longstanding partnership that includes this and two other hotels, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove and InterContinental Hayman Island Resort, and we are so excited that Mulpha will deliver a new era of luxury following an extensive upgrade and refurbishment. We have no doubt that InterContinental Sydney will continue to define itself as one of Sydney’s most treasured luxury hotels.”

Built will be bringing their extensive heritage refurbishment and luxury hotel experience to this project, says managing director Brett Mason.

“This is a complex and challenging project, and we have worked closely with Mulpha and their design team over the past year to plan the construction in detail to maintain a high standard of guest comfort and amenity during works.”

Tracey Wiles, principal and regional interior design leader, Woods Bagot said the design takes great care in maintaining the architectural lineage of the collective buildings that form the hotel by overlaying their historical character with a contemporary interpretation of materials and detail.

Image: Supplied