Top ar­chi­tect floats river ho­tel plan

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - JES­SICA HOWARD

A FLOAT­ING ho­tel on the River Der­went cham­pi­oning tech­nol­ogy pi­o­neered in Tas­ma­nia is the new­est pet project of award-win­ning lo­cal ar­chi­tect Robert Mor­ris-Nunn, the Mer­cury can re­veal.

An­chored next to the Re­gatta Grounds, the pro­posed ho­tel would fol­low in the tra­di­tion of Ho­bart’s float­ing bridge, the pre­de­ces­sor to the Tas­man Bridge, and more re­cently the new Brooke St Pier.

It would have ca­pac­ity for about 270 rooms, but with po­ten­tial for more, with restau­rants, re­tail space and bars on the ground floor.

Prof Mor­ris-Nunn, the man be­hind the de­signs of the Saf­fire Re­sort, Henry Jones Ho­tel, MACq 01 and the Brooke St Pier, said the de­vel­op­ment could cre­ate a unique tourism as­set for Ho­bart.

“This ho­tel pro­posal re­sponds to the fun­da­men­tal logic of adding to what is spe­cial and dif­fer­ent about Ho­bart, rather than repli­cat­ing what is done elsewhere,” he said.

In part­ner­ship with Syd­ney-based Water­borne De­vel­op­ments, Prof Mor­risNunn said a de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion was ex­pected to be lodged with the Ho­bart City Coun­cil in late Jan­uary.

The cir­cu­lar de­sign would fea­ture suites fac­ing both out­wards and in­ward, with the lat­ter look­ing into a cen­tral court.

Prof Mor­ris-Nunn said the num­ber of rooms could eas­ily be var­ied as the di­am­e­ter of the build­ing could be in­creased or an­other floor could po­ten­tially be added.

The build­ing would be cre­ated in three parts, with each man­u­fac­tured and floated separately into pos- ition. “It is gen­er­ally agreed there is a short­fall in qual­ity ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion cur­rently avail­able in Ho­bart and there will be con­sid­er­able pres­sure from cer­tain sec­tions of the tourism in­dus­try to build large new ho­tels in the CBD, re­gard­less of any longer-term detri­men­tal con­se­quences and on­go­ing com­mu­nity op­po­si­tion,” Prof Mor­ris-Nunn said.

He said the pur­pose of this pro­posal was to demon­strate al­ter­na­tives ex­ist to pre­serve the city’s low-rise char­ac­ter.

The float­ing pon­toon would draw on the same Tas­ma­nian tech­nol­ogy, in­no­va­tion, de­sign, and engi­neer­ing used to cre­ate the $13 mil­lion Brooke St Pier com­pleted in 2014.

It would be se­cured to sea an­chors be­neath the wa­ter, al­low­ing it to rise and fall with the tide.

Lord Mayor Sue Hickey said while she would need to see all the de­tails when the de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion was lodged, the coun­cil wanted to see more in­no­va­tive ar­chi­tec­ture in the cap­i­tal.

“It’s an ex­cit­ing pro­posal — a world-lead­ing de­vel­op­ment that shows there’s not al­ways a need for height for some­thing to be quite in­no­va­tive.”

In­cat chair­man Robert Clif­ford sup­ported the idea and said there was po­ten­tial for a ma­rina at the site that would al­low su­per­maxi yachts to moor.

Mac­quarie Point De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mary Massina said the cor­po­ra­tion sup­ported the ho­tel pro­posal in prin­ci­ple, while Royal Ho­bart Re­gatta pres­i­dent Ge­off Lu­cas said the de­vel­op­ment had the po­ten­tial to change the dy­nam­ics of the Der­went.

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