Grand Mercure Rockford Hotel

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Contact: Michael Kisluk
Location: Palm Cove, Queensland
Scope: Concept Design, Architecture, Interior Design, FF&E

The apartments are located on the beachfront esplanade at Palm Cove. The project comprised the refurbishment of the original hotel into strata titled apartments (123 in total), construction of new luxury beachfront apartments as well as boutique retail. The location and siting of the existing 25 year old building was excellent, having a rainforest lagoon pool in the central courtyard. The access and functional arrangement required significant change in order to re-address the building from the back street to the Esplanade.

The central design idea was to re-address the building to its context of beachfront Palm Cove. Relocating the porte cochere and main entry to the ground level with direct views to the lagoon pool and beach, significantly improved amenity, ambience and value of the development.

The original plan form comprised a 220 metre corridor on each level. The plan was reconfigured into four separate buildings with access at the ground floor. This allowed apartments of the building to utilise common area where the corridors were previously closed.

Possibilities for reconfiguring the hotel room module were limited by the structural system of the building. The structure is a composite of deep reinforced masonry beams and reinforced concrete floors. If either is compromised the system would structurally fail.

Layouts were designed to create two bedroom apartments from two original rooms and three bedroom apartments from three original rooms. To increase the apartment yield, back of house and common areas no longer required for the hotel were converted into apartments. Rationalisation of the functions has allowed increased operational efficiency.

Traditional tropical architecture inspired the generation of the new design elements – large overhangs, timber detailing, openness and quality of light. The timber lanterns in the lobby and timber batten work link to the timber decking that flows from the porte cochere, through the lobby out to the lagoon pool.

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