Bates Smart designs new Westin for Australia's top end

Bates Smart designs new Westin for Australia's top end
Bates Smart designs new Westin for Australia's top end

In a first for Urban.com.au, the subject of this article is a new Westin branded hotel not for Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide or even Perth. Instead, the Bates Smart-designed Westin will be developed in the Northern Territory's capital city Darwin.

Located right on the waterfront, the hotel has been designed to form important and meaningful connections between the city and the water, with the dual aim of enhancing the precinct and providing a gateway to the natural wonders of the Northern Territory beyond.

According to architects Bates Smart, the vision for the Westin Darwin Hotel is "the creation of an iconic tropical hotel that embodies the rich natural and cultural heritage of the location."

Bates Smart designs new Westin for Australia's top end
The Westin Darwin Hotel. Image: Bates Smart

The design team studied the geographic story of the site, the historic context and the requirements of the climate, with the design response producing a curved form which references the layered histories of the waterfront. This embeds the hotel with a strong sense of place and a response to its context.

The lower levels are inspired by the nearby rock formations and capture the spirit of the local landscape through the use of natural stone, complemented with lush landscaping and water features.

Areas for rest and reflection are aided by verandas and breeze ways which respond to the tropical environment, but also reference the heritage buildings within Darwin.

The upper levels of the hotel are inspired by tree canopies. Dark metal and timber screens create dappled patterns of light, but also provide valuable shading for the humid temperature.

Importantly, the design incorporates a seawall which is designed to protect the hotel from significant weather events and cyclonic wave activity, but that at the same time provides a generous pedestrian path and access to the waterfront for the local community.

- Bates Smart

A garden restaurant and bar provides patrons with an authentic Northern Territory dining experience, supported by a rooftop garden accommodating additional restaurant facilities, and infinity pool providing expansive views over the waterfront. The hotel's rooftop can be accessed via a skywalk from Goyder Park.

Additionally, the hotel includes a diverse range of function and conference facilities with new spaces for events for Darwin locals and visitors.

High-quality materials and detailing have been provided throughout the interiors complemented by a neutral palette of soft tonal textured finishes which add a tactile quality to the spaces.

Our intention is for the hotel to embody the spirit of Darwin, the land and nature and to create an identity that is uniquely connected to the Northern Territory.

- Cian Davis, Bates Smart Studio Director

Bates Smart designs new Westin for Australia's top end
Westin Darwin Hotel will be located right on the waterfront. Image: Bates Smart

The design of the Westin Darwin Hotel will achieve the following:

  • Iconic tropical hotel that embodies the rich natural and cultural heritage of the location.
  • Connects the city and the water, enhancing the waterfront precinct.
  • A generous pedestrian path provides access to the waterfront for the local community.
  • The design references the historic context and the requirements of the climate.
  • The hotel offers tropical luxury with beautiful rooms and iconic dining offerings.
  • A diverse range of function and conference facilities provides the people of Darwin with new spaces for events.

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.

Tags: 
Bates Smart Westin Darwin Hotel Waterfront Northern Territory

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