Two retractable curved awnings from Aalta Australia were used to replace the existing retractable roof at the Rose of Australia Hotel located in the heart of Sydney’s inner city suburb of Erskineville. Established in 1874, the hotel featured a motorised retractable roof from the original construction.

Extensive modifications were carried out on the hotel as part of a detailed refurbishment project including stripping back the walls and fittings to expose the original brickwork, timbers and pipes for a more rustic, urban feel. The internal garden walls and outdoor furnishings with the bold striped cushions and colourful fabrics created a playful and fun atmosphere.

To provide their guests protection from the weather in the outdoor area, the hotel owners wanted to replace the existing curved metal roof with a retractable curved awning; create an open courtyard for use in fine weather with the option to close it off in inclement weather; and introduce manual operation to avoid complications associated with motorisation. The roof system also needed to be easily operated by one person as well as complement the existing fitout.

Aalta custom-designed a curved retractable roof based on the patio awning and aligned with the existing roof line of the old curved metal roof. Aalta used intermediate rollers to curve the fabric, keeping it under spring tension to give it the required rigidity to shed water.

Key features of Aalta’s installation include a Liberty retractable roof covering the courtyard designed to follow the steep incline of the building; fabric stacking at the bottom of the incline to allow uninterrupted continuity of the two awnings; motorised awnings replaced with crank operation; worm drive gear boxes installed to replace motors; and bold yellow and white striped PVC coated polyester fabric creating a waterproof structure for guests to use the space even on a rainy day.