The lushly vegetated central courtyard of this new Sydney hotel provides a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Creating a relaxed oasis for guests to retreat from the urban streetscape, the three-storey high open-air garden atrium draws the outside in while providing glimpses to the street life through the leafy internal void. It is a key element of the building, connecting with the hotel lobby and Solander restaurant, and overlooked by guest rooms.

“Open to the elements, sunshine streams into the courtyard on a sunny day. When it rains, faint scents of the plants emanate and it feels like nature,” says Woods Bagot’s hotel sector leader Jacqui Senior.

According to Senior, the hotel’s siting and architecture are unusual for Sydney, and this was embraced by the interiors team. 

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Taking cues from the jewel-cut, glazed fa├žade by architects Fitzpatrick + Partners, the interiors scheme references the colours and textures of the Australian landscape. A palette of richly dark eucalyptus greens and greys are the colours of the bush, with deep blues and greens of the harbour.

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“Contact with nature is both a basic human and universal need,” says Domenic Alvaro, Woods Bagot’s global design leader.

“Biophilic design, which integrates architecture and nature – in this instance, urban nature – is increasingly supported by research findings on its wellbeing benefits.”