Revitalising Woolwich Pier Hotel, Alexander&CO. takes cues from the act of coming together of diverse groups to proposing a renovation that enlivens, adds depth and responds to its context as an expression of time.
Centrally located in Woolwich Pier, the hotel of the same name has been renovated and rejuvenated in order to reclaim its previous status as a place that brought people from the community together, binding them through place. Like many public spaces with multi-layered briefs, the underpinning ethos was to attract and connect to a varied cross-section of the community through a sense of unity. The hotel sits at the convening junction of Lane Cove and Parramatta River and combines a sports bar, dining hall, saloon, courtyard and terrace bar. Over its multiple levels, the various spaces allow numerous groups to assemble and engage socially, while separated through interventions of scaled intimacy. Alexander& CO. has taken cues from the area’s past and layered in contemporary offerings to modernise and make relevant the interior and outdoor areas as refreshed and desired destinations.
Built by DB Build, Woolwich Pier Hotel weaves together key historical elements of the existing architecture with newer insertions that respond to a current relevance. The most notable is the incorporation of the central stair that connects across the levels, allowing floods of natural light deep into the ground level space and creating opportunities for visual as well as audible associations throughout. Expanding the existing ceiling heights allows an expanded sense of grandeur and cements the hotel as a truly public place for all, matched by an appropriate scale and proportion. Key to the brief was the revealing and retention of the existing heritage features and celebration of that charm as a feature. Through a curated approach to layered finishes, materials such as velvet, linen, brass and natural stone add a welcomed richness and tactility.
Reworking the floor plan and infusing an inherent flexibility sees furniture inserted that can be adapted and manipulated accordingly, further amplifying the opportunities for its many uses. While layers were stripped back, exposing a history told through materiality, remnants of concrete, brick, steel and timber and their natural patina over time was key to the story of the hotel. The opening and replanning of the courtyard sees it emerge as its own location and strengthen the story of the area immersed in the outdoors and the natural.
By carefully revealing and retaining, while inserting with care, a place of familiarity is created in Woolwich Pier Hotel for its patrons. Alexander&CO. brings a knowing understanding of scale and the creation of zoning to create such a varied and layered place feel so welcoming for so many.