LocationSydney NSW, Australia
Architect in Charge
Design TeamMatthew Sheargold, Matthew Blain, Sally de Marchi, Susan Standring, Di Ritter, Robbie Peirce, Alicia Freeman
From the architect. Sydney’s historic Finger Wharf was the perfect spot for Ovolo’s next Australian hotel. Given the iconic location, the energetic lifestyle brand needed to completely transform the site’s existing facilities to appeal to a new generation of guests while reinvigorating the wharf and bringing the brand to life
After the success of Ovolo Laneways hotel in Melbourne, the Hong Kong-based operators again partnered with HASSELL to realise a bold vision.
With the Ovolo guest at the heart of the design process, the hotel embodies everything the brand stands for – young, energetic, cheeky, accessible and effortless – and 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 100-year old Finger Wharf at Woolloomooloo, close to Sydney’s city centre. 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.
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.
Inside, the welcoming public spaces and fresh colour scheme contrast with the deliberately atmospheric guest rooms, building drama and interest. The rooms are truly unique, boasting generous in-room inclusions, custom lighting and locally commissioned artworks.
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.
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 travelers.