TFE Hotels and Hume Partners Property will launch Australia’s very first cross-laminated timber (CLT) hotel and the tallest timber adaptive-reuse project in the country – the Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne Southbank – later this year.
Just six months out from opening, the 220-room Bates Smart-designed apartment hotel, at the intersection of Southbank Boulevard and City Road in Melbourne’s cultural precinct, is notable for its use of sustainable construction technology.
CLT is a non-toxic, renewable resource that has a long life cycle, is fire resistant, highly sustainable (since wood is renewable) and offers superior strength and stability when compared to common structural materials.
According to Bates Smart director Julian Anderson, around 5300 tonnes of CLT was used in the construction of the hotel, in turn offsetting around 4200 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“In addition to reduced carbon emissions, cross-laminated timber incorporates several sustainability benefits, including lower transport costs and time saving advantages from off-site manufacturing,” he says. “It also presents a more sustainable approach to increasing density within our cities.”
Timber for the hotel was sourced from suppliers with Forest Stewardship Council certification – one of only two internationally recognised forest certification networks – and an electric crane was used to limit noise impact during construction. Modular bathrooms were also manufactured off-site to reduce build waste.
“To create the 220-room accommodation tower, an additional 10 levels* were able to be built on the existing concrete building, providing 13,000 square metres of new floor space,” says Anderson. “This combines to make Adina Melbourne Southbank the world’s tallest mass timber vertical extension.”
TFE Hotels’ chief operating officer, Chris Sedgwick, says Adina Apartment Hotels as a brand has wholeheartedly embraced the concept of design-driven hotels, and has a swag of contemporary new-build hotels in the pipeline
“As the Adina brand continues to evolve, expect to see a certain 'wow' factor in design that will be offset by the Australian hospitality that our hotel teams will deliver,” he says. “At Adina Melbourne Southbank, the 'wow' will come from the innovative use of such sustainable building product, as well as the contemporary look and feel.”
Sedgwick says the architects have paid careful attention to the way the existing building 'turned the corner' and, by incorporating a glass curtain façade and vast curved balcony, they’ve reshaped Melbourne’s skyline south of the Yarra. The same care and attention were given to the interior design.
“Internally, the hotel’s design has taken inspiration from the architecture,” Sedgwick says. “The ground floor lobby is lined with timber, aligning with the new method of construction, which exudes a warm and welcoming ambience in shared public spaces.”
Curved walls also distinguish the space and complement the curved façade and graceful lines of the new 10-level timber extension. In keeping with its green roots, the hotel also has an energy management system integrated into each room, to automatically control the HVAC system.
In addition to the Adina’s 70 studio apartment-style hotel rooms, 140 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom apartments, the hotel will also feature a gym, 20-metre indoor lap pool, two light-filled meeting spaces and a boardroom.
The hotel is located less than 500 metres from the city centre, with the Yarra River separating the CBD from Southbank, 300 metres from the Crown Casino Complex and 700 metres from the Melbourne Convention Centre.
* 10 timber levels plus a steel transfer level with hotel pool and gym.