A new boutique hotel in Victoria takes the underlying design principles of typical agricultural buildings and barn-like structures, and reinterprets them according to the unwritten mandates of luxury hotel design.

Situated in the Mornington Peninsula wine region, Jackalope Hotel – designed by Carr Design – is a sprawling structure clad in dark zinc with charred timber and black-metal detailing.

Upon arrival, imposing black pyramid sculptures sit either side of the entry. A simple and pseudo-agricultural driveway winds its way through rows of vines and centuries-old native trees. The hotel structure itself is hidden from view until a particular point is reached along the entrance.

“The monolithic, blackened structure provides a vivid juxtaposition to the rich green, red and silver foliage of the landscape and adjacent vines yet integrates seamlessly with its surrounds,” says Chris McCue, Carr’s director of architecture.

The hotel’s black, standing, seam-metal-clad form with charred timber detailing and a dramatic, saw-cut roof references the historical form of the adjacent restored agricultural and barrel room barns but with a bold and modern take of the vernacular architecture.

A 7.5-metre sculpture of a jackalope (a rabbit-like creature with antlers) by Melbourne artist Emily Floyd welcomes guests.

Image: Carr Design 

The 46 hotel rooms are a mixture of 38sqm Terrace and Vineyard View options, 52-62sqm Dens, and 85sqm Lairs. Floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces connect the room’s contemporary design with its country location. Interiors have been designed with custom-made features.

Images: Carr Design 

“Interiors celebrate the mystery and whimsy of alchemy and the art of transformation with tonal elements of gold, silver, copper and bronze throughout,” says Dan Cox, Carr’s director of interiors.

For instance, the light installation that hangs above the dining room appears as a fluid, bubbling concoction of metallic orbs. Depending on price point, different types of room are designed to represent different stages of alchemy, and take their influence from the characteristics of various precious metals.

Hotel amenities include a 30-metre infinity pool and an accompanying pavilion for spa treatments and private dining. Conference rooms have been fitted out with custom-made, contemporary furniture and the latest technology audio and visual equipment. A labyrinth of landscaped spaces have been designed to wrap around the hotel, with tree-lined paths connecting to a kitchen garden and a cooking school to the east.

Image: Jackalope Hotel 

Mornington Peninsula is a region known for its food – and most especially its wine. As a strong nod to its culinary context, the Jackalope offers a fine dining experience at a restaurant called Doot Doot Doot, while a glass or two (from the onsite winery) can be had at the hotel’s own cellar door, called Rare Hare. The hotel also has its own cocktail bar, Flaggerdoot.

Image: Jackalope Hotel 

Rather than simply attaching green technology to a conventional building, Carr Design strove for an integrated solution that considers both passive and active systems. The design includes sustainable initiatives such as stormwater collection, an on-site waste water treatment and recycling system, recycled material selection, and an energy-efficient selection of fixtures, fittings and equipment.