The Launceston community deserves the best outcome for the last signifcant site prime for development on the riverfront according to Josef Chromy.
The founding director of the JAC group said it was for that reason that six architects were selected to design a different version of the Gorge Hotel for the TRC site.
“The top three prize winners are all worthy contenders, however there can be only one first prize and the design of CBG Architects has been judged the most outstanding,” Mr Chromy said in a letter to the competitors.
The winning design utilises a tessellated glass facade reminiscent of the cliffs and waterfalls of Cataract Gorge.
According to the jury report on the six designs the CBG design had the highest overall building construction cost and hotel room cost per square metre but it was still within the budget.
“The use of prefabricated modular glazing for the glass tower and rock patterned precast concrete for structural walls at the podium level and spine represent an efficient approach to innovation that is also aesthetically pleasing to the eye,” the report said.
“This is not a design that seeks to blend in and disappear, but if that were the criteria the Sydney Opera House would never have been built.”
The second place winner was Tasmanian firm S Group.
The design included double storey glass pyramids either side of a grand outdoor staircase that looks like the cliffs, boulders and waterfalls of Cataract Gorge.
It also included an optional indoor swimming pool with a long aquarium wall looking down the river which casts blue water reflections over the lower building facade at night.
“S Group’s proposal has the lowest overall building construction cost and second lowest hotel room cost per square metre,” the report said.
“In part, this is achieved by using the smallest hotel rooms which attract lower value room rates.
“This hotel is very marketable but also limited to operating at 4.5 stars due to the small standard rooms.”
In third pace was Hobart-based Terroir, with a dramatic response to the design brief. It featured a glass and aluminium clad building with a sharp prow which looked like the bow of a ship at the northern end of the site on Paterson Street.
“A series of angled panels on the west facing hotel rooms screen off the afternoon sun which creates a series of vertical gill-like protrusions on that side of the building,” the report said.
“This is a dramatic and bold design that looks contemporary but could be improved by retaining a set-back version of the initial tower design turned towards a northeast to southwest axis to open up direct views down the Tamar River and still retain views of the Cataract Gorge.”