Australia Welcomes Its First Urban Resort – The Calile Hotel by Richards and Spence
Brisbane, QLD, Australia
In the middle of the vibrant Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley sits The Calile Hotel, an architecturally-designed oasis that draws upon the enviable Queensland climate to create a resort experience within the trendy James Street precinct. Designed by renowned Brisbane architects Richards and Spence and recognised nationally and internationally for defining the look and feel of the James Street precinct — The Calile design embraces and advances this established tropical vernacular. “We looked to other hot weather cities with a resort focus to inform our design…Miami, Palm Springs, Rio De Janeiro and Mexico City,” says Richards and Spence Co-Director Adrian Spence.
The Calile design embraces and advances this established tropical vernacular.
Upon approach, one is immediately transfixed by The Calile’s distinctive curves and harsh monolithic concrete exterior rising like a beacon from the street scape below and making one question their immediate locality. The unique exterior destines The Calile to become one of Australia’s most photogenic buildings but for Adrian Spence, the architectural considerations were more climactic than simply about the creation of hero imagery. Embracing Brisbane’s humid climate and tropical surrounds became the foundation of what is Australia’s first urban resort. “In our opinion there is no other city-based Australian hotel conceived as a resort,”explains Adrian. “City-based hotels in our country are pitched to a corporate market, focussed on the conference, rather than on the pool and the hotel’s surrounds. The Calile aims to change that perception”.
“In our opinion there is no other city-based Australian hotel conceived as a resort”.
All of the 175 guest rooms present within The Calile Hotel were designed with the guest experience in mind, once again utilising the tropical climate to create a lavish atmosphere amongst luxurious surroundings. Open-air spaces and breezeways link guests to rooms designed for comfort — cork floors and sisal matting give way to marble bathroom finishes, dedicated living areas with day bed and dining table. Echoing a perspective shared by the majority of Queensland based architects, Adrian Spence states, “Our climate allows us to live outdoors most of the year. The naturally ventilated rooms allow guests to share our unique outdoor lifestyle again reinforcing a sense of place that is uniquely Brisbane”.
“City-based hotels in our country are pitched to a corporate market, focussed on the conference, rather than on the pool and the hotel’s surrounds. The Calile aims to change that perception”.
The most prominent space of The Calile is undoubtably the elevated, centrally-located pool and the surrounding pool deck area featuring outdoor dining, cabanas and sun lounges. The Calile pool area is key to creating the unique urban resort feel developed by the design. This tropical resort theme, reminiscent of Palm Springs, is reinforced by every unique detail of the hotel. The external naturally-ventilated corridors and lift lobbies with ceiling fans and planters, combined with operable windows and balconies, co-exist to continue the resort theme inside and outside the rooms.
The Calile pool area is key to creating the unique urban resort feel developed by the design.
Despite drawing inspiration from tropical architecture around the globe, the design for The Calile by Richards and Spence feels uniquely Brisbane in nature, meaning the hotel is not out of place amongst the urban streetscape of the James Street precinct in Fortitude Valley. A triumph of Queensland design, The Calile is aesthetically pleasing from every angle, introducing guests to a level of resort style luxury seldom seen in traditional urban hotels. Beyond the facilities, amenities, restaurants and service, The Calile is a story of architecture that is further enhanced by the nature of the Brisbane climate. When asked to reflect on his design for The Calile, Adrian Spence simply states, “It is our greatest professional achievement to date”.