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Paramount House Hotel Designed by Breathe Architecture in a 1930s Brick Warehouse

Paramount House Hotel Designed by Breathe Architecture in a 1930s Brick Warehouse

Project: Paramount House Hotel
Architects: Breathe Architecture
Location: Surry Hills, NSW, Australia
Year: 2018
Photo Credits: Katherine Lu
Text by Breathe Architecture

Paramount House Hotel rises out of the 80 year old warehouse that occupies the site. A copper, chevron screen crowns its brick shell and converses with the neighbouring art deco buildings of this former film precinct. Designed with priority towards sustainability in construction and operation. The project explores the narrative between artefact and ornament, of place and of home. It’s an idea about expressing everything that was old, and true and honest and raw, about the existing warehouse; and capturing the spirit and excitement of the golden era of film.

Paramount House Hotel Designed by Breathe Architecture in a 1930s Brick Warehouse

The clients told us their crazy dreams on this tiny site and we wanted to work really hard to bring those dreams to life. Mark, Russ and Jin wanted to do something special in Surry Hills. They had collaborated on a number of projects before and to us Paramount House was already an incredible organism. The hotel needed to add to this, add to the life of Paramount House and add to the life on the street. It needed to talk to the heritage of the site and of Surry Hills and to the Sydney climate.

Paramount House Hotel Designed by Breathe Architecture in a 1930s Brick Warehouse

The rigorous adaptive reuse strategy is intended to circumvent substantial building waste – reducing environmental impact while imbuing the hotel with textural narrative and architectural delight. To the existing brick and timber shell we brought a robust authentic palette of structural and architectural metalwork, concrete, recycled timber, locally designed tiles, textiles, fixtures and fittings. Suites have been designed to include an external terrace, tucked in behind the existing brick envelope or copper screen facade, to provide shade, natural ventilation and the opportunity to interact with both streetscape and climate.

Paramount House Hotel Designed by Breathe Architecture in a 1930s Brick Warehouse

Paramount House Hotel is locally responsive and truly unique. Each of the 29 rooms are completely unique. No matter the number of times guests stay, they will never have the same experience. Suites feel lived in and warm, and with a hospitality based approach to comfort and service, staying here you truly feel at home.

Paramount House Hotel Designed by Breathe Architecture in a 1930s Brick Warehouse

Working intimately with an existing building fabric brought its own inherent challenges from a design, acoustic and fire rating perspective. However, harnessing these quirks as opportunities is what makes this building so tactile, unconventional and intriguing for our guests. The project explores the narrative between artefact and ornament, of place and of home.

Paramount House Hotel Designed by Breathe Architecture in a 1930s Brick Warehouse

There are 29 rooms at Paramount House Hotel – and like our guests, no two are the same. The existing building is imperfect, with layers of wear that make each suite unique in offering, character and scale. Columns appear in different locations, unpredictable with remnant building features celebrated. Some suites express the patinated brickwork, parapet and gable ends, while others reveal the former stairwells, aged joists and struts. Traces of ornamentation are embedded throughout – sometimes bold, sometimes subtle. From freestanding, solid timber bathtubs and architectural metalwork, to lush greenery and locally made furniture and ceramics.

Paramount House Hotel Designed by Breathe Architecture in a 1930s Brick Warehouse

Paramount House Hotel was designed with priority towards sustainability. Preservation of the existing building fabric was a key to the sustainability strategy. Embracing the historic character and footprint of the warehouse, a series of new spaces are also created. A robust, honest material palette is incorporated throughout, serving a purpose to ensure further longevity of the existing 80 year old building.

bathroom, Breathe Architecture

Materials are low in embodied energy and are locally sourced where possible, including recycled timber floorboards, low VOC finishes and mild steel throughout. Suites are furnished with all locally sourced and Australian made pieces. A 7kW PV Solar Array located on the roof deck produces energy to supplement the operational demands of the building. Responding to its context, many of the suites each have a north facing winter deck, not only encouraging guests to engage with the external environment but also serving a purpose to provide shade and natural ventilation.

Paramount House Hotel Designed by Breathe Architecture in a 1930s Brick Warehouse

Amid a suite of heritage and inter-war buildings in Sydney’s Surry Hills, Paramount House Hotel occupies a 3-storey 1930s brick corner warehouse, adjacent to the historic Paramount House (c. 1940s). Completing an irregular city block that was associated with film industry pioneers Paramount Pictures Studio and 20th Century Fox Film Association, the hotel embraces the historical significance of the site and its surrounding context.

bedroom, Breathe Architecture

The conceptual approach was about marrying these two beautiful ideas – the artefact and ornament. A former film vault is repurposed for the reception lounge, the overlap with the creative and active program of the Paramount Pictures Building. A hidden atrium space is where the two buildings meet. Where a weary traveller can feel welcomed, looked after and rejuvenate under the daylight.

Paramount House Hotel Designed by Breathe Architecture in a 1930s Brick Warehouse

Contextually responsive to its Sydney location, it is about expressing everything that was old and true, honest and raw, about the existing warehouse. It captures the spirit and excitement of the golden era of film. Staying there, you truly feel at home.

interior design, Breathe Architecture

guest room by Breathe Architecture

Paramount House Hotel Designed by Breathe Architecture in a 1930s Brick Warehouse

Paramount House Hotel Designed by Breathe Architecture in a 1930s Brick Warehouse

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