Project Team

design: Hassell
lighting: Medlands

Photographer: Nicole England



furniture: James Richardson, Cult, Kezu, Jardan, Thonet, Hub, Stylecraft, Catapult Design, Arcade Classics
tiles: Academy Tiles, Bisanna Tiles
carpet: Godfrey Hirst, Gibbon Group, Birrus Matting
finishes: Axolotl

Sydney’s century old wharf in iconic Woolloomooloo is now home to Sydney’s hottest new hotel, Ovolo Woolloomooloo, following a bold transformation designed to appeal to a new generation of guests.

After the success of Ovolo Laneways hotel in Melbourne, international design practice HASSELL once again partnered with Ovolo’s Hong Kong-based operators to realise its vision and help bring the energetic lifestyle brand to life for its latest Australian venture.

HASSELL Senior Associate Matthew Sheargold says the newly launched hotel brings the best of modern design to the stunning harbourside location.

“With the Ovolo guest at the heart of the design process, Ovolo Woolloomooloo embodies everything the brand stands for – young, energetic, cheeky, accessible and effortless,” Matthew said.

“This is evident at every touchpoint, from the employees’ uniforms through to the most pervasive design decisions.”

Ovolo represents a collection of hotels that connect people with their locations, and combine their personality with the character of the immediate environment. In this case, it’s the century old Finger Wharf at Woolloomooloo, close to Sydney’s city centre.

Caribbean Carpet

Colour 730 San Juan used in all hotel rooms. A high quality level loop pile carpet made from 100% wool. It has a beautifully textured look to it, like a sisal carpet.

Godfrey Hirst

Matthew says the brand new hotel capitalises on the brilliant light, harbour, and cosmopolitan setting, transforming the historic wharf into a place that people can inhabit and truly appreciate.

“To inject vitality into the hotel, we first needed to transform an uninviting wind tunnel along the vast central spine of the existing hotel,” he said.

“We broke the space into smaller zones and inserted pavilions, creating an environment that’s more intimate – more Ovolo – and celebrates the building’s heritage. Pockets of sunlight and tree-filled spaces within the pavilions encourage a variety of uses, which entices people to visit and linger.”

Ovolo Woolloomooloo creates a missing link within its broader precinct giving people reasons to visit – and return.

“Buzzing bars and restaurants and emerging retail options are great for local residents and hotel guests alike, and anchor the hotel within its surrounds, while inside, the welcoming public spaces and fresh colour scheme contrast with the deliberately atmospheric guest rooms, building drama and interest,” Matthew said.

“The rooms are truly unique, boasting generous in-room inclusions, custom lighting and locally commissioned artworks.”

Matthew says today’s hotel guests expect to seamlessly switch between work, rest and play – and Ovolo responds with the right mix of technology and amenities.

“We’ve drawn on our expertise in workplace and hospitality design to make Ovolo the Australian benchmark in meeting the needs of a new generation of guests who want to work flexibly across a wide range of settings within the hotel,” Matthew said.

“To give people the opportunity to switch off when they need, we’ve provided ample settings for them to gather and connect with each other. The revived space is very Sydney, and very Ovolo, and a welcome new international destination for travellers.”

Ovolo Woolloomooloo is the latest in a string of hotels designed by HASSELL including The Club in Singapore, which opened in late 2015. The refurbishment of the iconic 1900s Colonial heritage building in one of Singapore’s busiest areas is sensitive to its history while embracing its neighbourhood’s current incarnation as a vibrant Club Street dining and nightlife precinct.

The boutique hotel designed by Singapore design studio Distillery, now part of HASSELL, has been reimagined as a collection of five food and beverage venues and 20 guest rooms – each with their own unique style.

Brass Finishes

Axolotl Brass with a hi-cut polished effect was used over the reception desk and fluted concierge desk, as well as on fluted planter bases and in the kitchen.