To say The Collectionist Hotel is a collaborative effort is a major understatement: seven designers from four creative practices and thirteen artists have come together to bring Sydney‘s latest hotel to life. Comprising 39 individually designed rooms and lobby spaces, and offering a guest stay experience like no other, the hotel is the vision of entrepreneurs Daniel Symonds and Toby Raphael, brought to life by Unita.

Any design team that took on a brief involving 40 individually designed guest rooms could be called both adventurous and bold. Enter Andrew Cliffe, founder of The World is Round. Having been invited to bid on the project, Cliffe set about assembling a team of designers who could bring the vision to life. “The brief was for every room to be different – a massive task for one designer. To win the project I needed to think differently,” says Cliffe. “Originally, I was imagining 10 designers doing 4 rooms each, but reality set in and this switched to 4 designers doing 10 rooms each.”

Yasmine Ghoniem and Katy Svalbe of Amber Road were the first he approached and signed for the project. They were closely followed by Matt Sheargold (who was responsible for Ovolo Woolloomooloo) and Susie Willis, of newly formed design team Willis Sheargold. Sheargold then suggested getting behind a young company, recommending Byron Bay-based team Lily Goodwin and Josh Cain of Pattern Studio.

Andrew Cliffe recruited 10 local artists to help create the vision he developed for his rooms. These include canvases by Matt Dampney, sculptures by Dion Horstmans, photography by Kane Skennar, and paintings by Kirsty Ludbrook, Brooklyn Whelen, Rose Ashton, Brett Chan, Daimon Downey, Nick Hernandez and Dave Homer.

Amber Road’s objective was for each room to evoke a particular memory: a holiday, a dream, a person, an idea, an experience – ultimately something that would elicit a strong emotive response from the guest. “We employed a riot of colour, texture and artful detailing and in doing so, transformed each room into a feast for the senses.” They also enlisted the help of Studio Elke for her bold carpet collaboration with Brintons. “Making their debut in our hotel rooms, these bold and exquisite carpet patterns, feature oversized terrazzo, tribal as well as geometric patterns and ultimately drove the colour and texture combinations for each of our ten rooms,” explains the design duo.

Excited by the potential to transform a utilitarian boarding house in urban Sydney, Willis Sheargold were inspired to pursue a refined and sophisticated design aesthetic in contrast to the urban context. “Our challenge was to create a greater sense of quality that would exceed the budget’s potential and client’s expectation,” explain the duo. Custom artwork by Matthew Sheargold himself injects a contemporary edge.

During their own travels, PATTERN STUDIO found that staying with a great host became a really memorable part of the overall travel experience. “Inspired by our own experiences of staying in much-loved houses and apartments, we tried to build a sense of playfulness and wonder into each guest room,” explains the duo. They used colour, texture, furnishings, and artwork to create bold but cohesive interiors. The mood and ambience of each room vary slightly, reflecting the inherent variety of hosts’ personalities.

PATTERN STUDIO were also responsible for the design of the hotel lobby, which sets the tone for the rest of the hotel experience; something memorable, with personality and character.


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[Images courtesy of The Collectionist Hotel. Photography by Terence Chin.]


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