The Parmelia Hilton Perth has a fresh look, with Cox Architecture seeking to marry the old with the new.
Mr White said the redesign plans, which he started before the pandemic, incorporated many features that were now considered essential in terms of social distancing and hands-free technologies.
“It’s a little bit of serendipity, to be frank,” Mr White told Business News.
“Spatially, what we were trying to do was make it open and simple, but also warm and welcoming.
“From a design point of view, ironically … I think the core elements we’ve included here do respond to the current crisis we’re dealing with [COVID-19].”
The refit had expanded the lobby area considerably, he said, as well as integrated technology to reduce the amount of touch points in the hotel.
Guests can utilise digital key technology through the Hilton app on their smartphone to check-in, and gain access to their room and the new executive lounge.
Mr White said the $45 million refurbishment project had been in train for three years, with property owner Hawaiian, along with operator Hilton, proposing a vision to better connect the Parmelia hotel with the CBD.
Part of that broader brief included the creation of a thoroughfare integrating the hotel lobby to Brookfield Place.
In addition to overhauling the lobby, the hotel’s original 284 rooms and the restaurant have been given a facelift, while 32 rooms have been added.
“The challenge with any refurbishment is just trying to work with the existing fabric,” Mr White said.
“The new architecture is trying to marry, or take its influences from, the old building’s brutalist style and explore that in more contemporary ways.
“We were also trying to bring an element of Perth’s coast to the desert, subtly playing with materials, furniture, leathers and fabric.
“Those blue and green tones are more evident up front on arrival, then when you walk to the back it’s the desert tones, the more auburns and browns.”
Mr White pointed to the beige marble and timber features as an example, with artwork also helping to accentuate the coastal references.
The largest of these is a Western Australia-inspired mural by Meekatharra-born artist Leon Pericles, depicting rural settings as well as prominent city scenes, including the Fremantle Roundhouse.
Ms Celisano said the menu had been curated to reflect WA produce from the land to the sea, such as local beef and seafood.
“One of the joys of grabbing hold of an older building is reimagining and reconnecting it into the emerging fabric of Perth.”
Hawaiian chief executive Russell Gibbs said one of the key reasons the group decided to refurbish the hotel was to ensure the facilities conintued to meet the needs of the modern business traveller, with inclusion of the executive lounge, link to key businesses at Brookfield Place, as well as its connection to the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.
There are several more property projects under consideration by the Hilton brand, which has a DoubleTree planned for Fremantle as well as a series of Hilton Garden Inn developments planned for Cockburn, Albany, Busselton and Kalgoorlie Boulder.