A magnificent old heritage listed building the Grand Central Hotel on Ann St in Brisbane was given a new lease on life and transformed back to its former glory. Surrounding Brisbane’s Central station the hotel completed in 1901 served as a lunchroom for travellers and has had many incarnations.
With a brief to make the venue welcoming to all the design reflects both masculine and feminine features. Ensuring all design elements were approved by Queensland Rails in-house heritage specialists was a design challenge presented to us. Working closely between client and landlord proved a long but rewarding experience. With a dreadfully underused front façade we designed a 15m long deck which opened the venue up to passing traffic allowing the building to attract more patrons. As the central station installed an underpass most foot traffic was passing underneath the hotel straight therefore meaning the hotel was suffering. Adding the deck meant a new energy was brought to the building – alerting passing cars and pedestrians to the new renovations and the building itself. The materials and colour palette used in the design reflect traditional elements and hark back to the venues rich history.
Grand Central’s main bar and gaming rooms have been refurbished with patrons enjoying the history adorned walls, solid timber bar and antique mirror tiles.
It highlights the venue’s existing heritage arches, while providing a modern twist through the use of copper and industrial black cabinetry and ironwork to contrast and compliment the traditional heritage green tiling and timber floors.
The design embraces the hotel’s train station roots, with the functions room resembling a modern railway cart through the use of curved timber, light timber panelling, a long railway seat, and a set of vintage train luggage racks to adorn the walls.
In a world where we are becoming more conscious of our environment and the effect we are having on it through materialism and consumerism it is an honour and privilege to be tasked with re-invigorating and old building that time has forgotten; to allow a beautiful old heritage building to shine and live its full potential for a further hundred years or more.
We believe that restoring life into a forgotten part of Brisbane and bringing the history of the venue to the forefront of patron’s minds is not only innovative but contributes immeasurably to the world of hospitality, architecture and design.