Crafted entirely out of hand-made clay bricks and local materials, Cheshire Architects has brought a sense of residential elegance and comfort to Auckland’s The Hotel Britomart.
Comprising 99 rooms, The Hotel Britomart’s design process saw the revitalisation of a century-old existing building and a new, additional 10-storey volume. Citing Auckland’s historic and contemporary contexts, the interior aims to channel the history of the city through a number of specially curated textures and features.
The structure, made of clay brick and glass, aims for the interior to channel timber cabins reminiscent of winter holiday destinations, with timber-clad walls extending this feeling. The rooms feature one of three colour schemes that is dependent on their orientation to the sun and the amount of natural light they possess. The hotel also holds five penthouse suites that are located on the rooftop, which were designed in partnership with Lucas Design Associates.
Cheshire were meticulous in their approach to designing the hotel. A number of bespoke elements, including the timber bedside lamps, lanterns and tree branch bronze handles are all items created by the practice specifically for the hotel.
The hotel lobby echoes the street outside, with stone paving lining the floors. Many of the lobby’s elements channel much of New Zealand’s craftsmanship and local plantations, with some elements being recycled. The greeting desk is made entirely of sandblasted oak, with a live Totara tree — a common New Zealand tree — poking through the desk itself.
A bench opposite to the desk is made out of recycled kauri wood, which is a timber only found in New Zealand. A blue stone coffee table within the lobby that sits amongst a seating nook is sourced from the city of Timaru, while there is also a wall of black cracked plaster that is made of Auckland clay. The hotel’s kitchen, open in its design, sits within a laneway between the two buildings. Seemingly nestled within a log store, has green tiled walls that form a picture of the Kiwi-native Tui bird.
Outlining its sustainable qualities, the hotel has been given a five green star rating by the NZ Green Building Council, the first hotel to do so in the country. The building has been made so efficient that it is expected to emit 50 percent less greenhouse emissions than the minimum sustainability requirements.
Created with the care and craftsmanship associated with the finest of projects, The Hotel Britomart seeks to directly reference and acknowledge the history and beauty of Auckland and New Zealand as a whole. The hotel features a number of bespoke elements that have been crafted with the steady and thoughtful hands of the practice, that allows for a hotel stay unlike anywhere else in the City of Sails.