Opportunities to design new buildings in the centre of Launceston are often rare. The challenge to build a commercial property, in heritage context and an unusual parcel of land, even more so. Hotel Verge has 86 rooms, meeting spaces for up to 100 people, a gym, laundry and an in-house restaurant. Our design is a nod to Launceston’s industrial heritage and Tasmanian roots.
To create a commercially viable design, we both tapped into our expertise in how people interact with space and undertook strategic research into how hotels can run most profitably. For instance, we knew our design had to balance the commercial need both for a large number of rooms, but also enough circulation space to allow for quick cleaning.
To suit the heritage context, we deliberately wanted Hotel Verge to sit neatly in the Launceston skyline. We designed a double-height window and facade treatment to help the building feel lower than it is. Then we used drones to map the views from each floor, so that each room would make the most of both natural light and views.
A careful choice of bricks allows Hotel Verge to effortlessly assimilate with its surroundings too. We sourced all the bricks locally from Daniel Robertson at the Longford brickworks plant, only 25 minutes out of town. The only carbon neutral brick factory in Australia, running off sawdust. To accurately match Launceston’s heritage context, we walked around the city centre and picked an assortment of brick colours to be matched in the blend.
The front of the building responds to the changing sun, with each face reading differently depending on the time of day. The facade is slightly staggered, creating interesting banding of shadows. Raw interiors and Tasmanian-made beds nod to Launceston’s industrial heritage and context. Hotel Verge is contemporary, commercially successful, and we hope will prove to be an asset to Launceston’s heritage.