The Jackalope Group is eyeing its first inner city hotel at 175-181 Flinders Lane.
Following on from Jackalope Mornington Peninsula which currently holds a swag domestic and international awards, the group is looking to rebirth the Maria George building on Flinders Lane. Headed by Melbourne-based entrepreneur Louis Li, "The Jackalope Group champions a conceptual approach to art, design, dining, and storytelling, delivering a delicate interplay between the ideal and the surreal."
It is this divergent approach which has facilitated a number of unique design features for the proposed mixed-use tower onsite; art, design, dining and storytelling will play a key role in the creation of Jackalope Flinders Lane.
Spanning a miserly 338 square metres, the site of the proposed hotel also maintains a frontage to Rutledge Lane to its rear. Dated 1911, the historically significant Maria George building is for now dedicated to retail, showroom and office accommodation.
MARCH studio has taken on the challenge of creating a new purpose for the Maria George building.
A 'destination' restaurant sits below the main entry/lobby area, followed by further restaurants in the immediate floors above. Over the lower floors, a sculpture will be incorporated into the facade.
Key to the hotel's public benefit credentials is the 'rain room' which will be accessed via Rutledge Lane.
The balance of the tower sees 32 luxury accommodation suites and a built form capped by a cloud-shaped rooftop bar. All in all the proposal spans 16 levels or 60 metres above street level.
Taking centre stage from a design perspective is the Cloud Bar. 10mm electropolished stainless steel wire is fashioned into a cloud shape and has the ability to take on the colour of the sky during sunrise, sunset etc, effectively camouflaging itself into the sky.
In a section of Melbourne's skyline which is framed by St Paul's Cathedral from various angles, the bar would bring a completely new design aspect. According to MARCH studio's urban design brief, The Cloud Bar will serve hotel guests during the day and The General public in the evenings.
Although Jackalope Flinders Lane's 32 suites are inconsequential in Melbourne's grander hotel accommodation boom, they are relevant in the immediate context. Steps away from the Adelphi Hotel and Westin Melbourne, the addition of Jackalope Flinders Lane would reinforce the immediate area's hotel credentials.
An expected build area of 4,242 square metres over the 338 square metre site yields a plot ratio of 11.6.
Flinders Lane's perpetually strong dining and entertainment scene stands to be strengthened by Jackalope Flinders Lane. A restaurant space of 88 seats has been incorporated into the development, in addition to Flaggerdoot which will have the capacity for another 65 patrons; Flaggerdoot is the incumbent bar within Jackalope Mornington Peninsula.