Burbury Hotel, Barton Canberra, Colin Stewart Architects

The form, texture, colour, contrast and classic qualities of the Burbury Hotel echo the elegance of the entire Realm precinct. Colin Stewart Architects have used paired themes of “black and white”, “recessed and projecting”, “hard and soft”, “rough and smooth”, “ornate and plain”, straight and curved”, “new and old” throughout the interior to build a subtle drama and distinguished mood throughout the Hotel. The building mass is arranged to address the varying scales of neighbouring development, the facades carefully proportioned to provide repetitive elements with a variety of fenestration and deep articulation providing significant depth and shadow. The design has a distinctly Canberra climate feel with the deeply recessed windows and balconies designed to achieve high levels of warmth within, high levels of privacy and a strong but raw building shell in off white concrete, as introduced and recommended by Walter Burley Griffin (architect of Canberra Plan) for the national capital. The material palette consists of robust materials presented in their honest and unadorned state including load bearing precast concrete, off-form concrete, masonry, stone cladding and aluminium window systems. The use of materials with integral finishes, contribute to a vast reduction in material usage throughout the life-cycle of the building. Dominant application of materials like precast concrete allow for minimal material waste both during material preparation and development construction. All elements incorporated in the production of the material are used without surplus, and exact design of each precast module limits on site construction waste. Urban design principles and qualities of mixed use, diversity, activity, compactness, integration of indoor/outdoor spaces, adaptability, permeability and sustainability are at the foundation of the design and underlying organisation of the architecture. Colin Stewart Architects have carried these principles over from the planning to the architecture and interior spaces to produce a relaxed and thoroughly refined and unique Canberra landmark with a restrained and timeless aesthetic.

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