Development of sister hotel begins in Melbourne

Construction of a new hotel district has begun on the site of the old Melbourne Walk, with the Buchan-designed project to elevate the city’s Bourke Street shopping centre.

Recognized as the first project built in the mall in over half a century, the mixed-use development includes the creation of two new hotels for Steadfast Capital. The 3,600 m² site once included Diamond House, the Public Benefit Bootery, Allan’s Building and York Building.

6,000 m² of retail space will be created as part of the redevelopment of The Walk, with IHG opening a dual-branded hotel. The hotels will offer 450 rooms on nine levels and will be installed above a three-level commercial podium.

Buchan believes the site’s location, the pedestrianized north-south “ant trail”, will make it an ideal temporary accommodation district in the heart of the CBD. The site is bounded by the iconic Bourke and Little Collins streets, as well as The Causeway and Union Lane and is unique in its character, scale and historical context.

“The notion of individual building forms will be retained behind four restored façades, with spaces allowing natural light to penetrate deep into the site and supporting an arcade and cross-ways at ground level,” says Buchan’s lead architect , Hayden Djakic.

“Union Lane will stay true to its service lane origins, preserving iconic graffiti street art in one of the city’s most Instagrammed spots.”

The creation of a nine-metre high arcade will consolidate Bourke Street and Little Collins, with a design language reflecting the rhythm, volume and bright interiors of the nearby Royal and Block arcades. Dining and bar areas will also be made available to the public, with a rooftop bar overlooking Bourke Street headlining the list of offerings.

Buchan Interiors Area Manager Valerie Mack says the design of Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn reflects the unique location.

renderings of the melbourne walk

“The Hotel Indigo brand is focused on creating bespoke local experiences with a strong sense of place. The site’s social history, with its quirky and historic retailers such as EW Cole, Sidney Myer and James Hosie, has informed our design concept,” she says.

“Historical references permeate right down to the arcade, which fuses retail glamor with the gritty backstreet culture of contemporary Melbourne to create a memorable urban destination for hotel guests and locals alike.”

The development is built to a 5 star Green Star rating, with a number of key sustainable features. This includes a 450 m² garden, a 40 kW photovoltaic system, strategies to mitigate the heat island effect, as well as the use of recycled steel and concrete reductions.

Completion of the project is scheduled for 2024.

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