Behind the Design of QT Sydney

(All photos courtesy of QT Sydney)
In last week's Monday Design Daydream, I told you about the ultra-stylish digs at the cool QT Sydney. But I'd like to take a moment to delve a little deeper into the design choices made in the guest rooms. Enter Australian architect Shelley Indyk, who created the moody interiors with an eye toward the historical setting. 


What was the aesthetic inspiration for the rooms?
It was a mixture of heritage fragments and quirky new ideas coupled with bespoke-designed joinery. The character of each building was quite particular. The State Theatre building is more flamboyant and theatrical; the Gowings is more pragmatic and modern. We kept the bones of the building at Gowings: the steel framed windows, the high ceilings, the Heritage timber hallways and doorways, the narrow timber floorboards. Natural light floods many of the Gowings rooms. 

With the State building, the main facade and all the entrance grandeur was either preserved or renewed to its former glory. The hallways were marked by the old Gothic, highly decorative plaster ceilings and faux-painted stone—there is moodiness that is potent, an air of mystery before entering the bedrooms. The rooms have carpet and feel more luxurious for it.


Were there any unique challenges in working on a landmark building?
There are always unique challenges in everything one designs and evolves and builds. With this, it was to get the level of quirkiness right; to achieve a balance between the old juxtaposed against the new; and produce fresh designs that ooze luxury and surprise guests.

What were your design inspirations?
Mark Rothko and his color field paintings. Art is a great influence, as is the street, graphics, and the richness of layering textures, colors, and materials.


What was your favorite room to work on?
The fact is that there were so many different types of rooms due to the nature of the old buildings and certain heritage prerequisites. In Gowings, the corner suite was a favorite because of the views out the many large windows and the glimpse of the large external neon Gowings signs on each corner of the room; however the bathroom was more enclosed. In State, the rooms that had the island beds and overlooked Market Street were terrific .

Was there anything that really surprised you about the process?
There were so many variations because of the old building and the changes on each floor level. It was surprising how layered and detailed the project became and how much thinking went into every detail.

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