I’ve recently got back from windy Wellington, New Zealand, were I went to inspect a new project that’s ripe for refurbishment. It’s a smallish hotel called The Brentwood that has been part of the fabric of its local community since the early Sixties.
On the surface it looked like a rather ordinary establishment with dated interiors and basic facilities, but when I dug into the properties history a little I soon discovered that its story throws up design possibilities that really interest me.
A photograph of the original façade dating back to 1963, which has recently surfaced, shows mid-century modern architecture in its purist form. That was my light bulb moment; the hotel should return to it gorgeous roots before it was bastardised with horrible Eighties (middle America) additions that are both tasteless and grandiose.
Then I discovered photographs of the likes of the Rolling Stones (admittedly pre massive fame and looking 15 years old) sitting by the Brentwood pool in the days when it was called The White Heron and had a flambe restaurant that only admitted gentlemen wearing jackets and ties. On that basis, the Rolling Stones were turned away!
Back to the design. By this time my CHADA team are really looking forward to getting started on what we envision being a mid-century gem that will slough off its star rating and, post make-over, stand proud as a delightful boutique hotel, offering something unique and authentic.
What designer could say no?