Brisbane’s Fantauzzo is a six-storey, 166 room boutique hotel sitting beneath a historic bridge, nestles against a rocky cliff face, behind heritage buildings along the Brisbane River.
The hotel marks the eastern entry to the Howard Smith Wharves precinct - a bold revitalisation of underutilised urban space, characterised by heritage wharf buildings that provide rare physical evidence of the pre-1940 Port of Brisbane.
Our design response was to create a contemporary, abstracted representation of the cliff face, marrying nature with the dynamic geometry of the bridge.
The modulating geometry of the facade takes influence from the robust trusses of the Story Bridge overhead, while muted, earthy tones borrowed from the cliff face define the palette. Tropical landscaping and overhanging vines on the facade also complement the cliff’s natural foliage. The overall effect is a building that camouflages with its surroundings, an empathetic backdrop to the unique heritage structures on the site.
The Fantauzzo’s integration with nature extends indoors with the back wall of the lobby being made entirely of glass, inviting the cliff beyond into the space.
The photorealist portraits by Artist Vincent Fantauzzo inspired the creation of a counterpoint, a contrasting backdrop of dark tones and muted finishes that challenge the traditional ‘white gallery’ space. Black terrazzo and dark concrete create an almost ‘cave-like’ atmosphere, allowing the confronting quality of Fantauzzo’s artwork to come to the fore.
The Fantauzzo exists both as a luxe refuge and an informal gallery space providing a unique lifestyle destination for Brisbane.
Images: SJB / Indesignlive