- Article by Natalie Mortimer
Studio Ongarato has injected a uniquely Queensland feel into the W Brisbane hotel, which is the first 5-star hotel to open in Queensland’s capital in more than 20 years.
The project is the latest in a string of engagements for Studio Ongarato with the W brand, with the studio having worked on W Shanghai and W Kong Kong. Studio cofounder Fabio Ongarato says that creating immersive environmental design narratives, as at W Brisbane, is an emerging trend in the hotel and hospitality space.
“Our first narrative-led hotel was for the W Hong Kong back in 2010. Using narrative at that time was uncommon. It successfully injected greater vibrancy into the brand and rewrote the rulebook for narrative-led hotel design. It also successfully set the tone for all the W hotels since.”
“It’s important for design to tell meaningful stories that customers, users and guests can respond to. Defining and building a thematic framework is the first step for holistic and narrative-driven design to take shape,” Ongarato says.
Overlooking the Brisbane River, W Brisbane has 312 rooms with views over South Bank and west towards Mount Coot-tha, as well as dining, bar, pool, spa and yoga facilities.
W Brisbane’s overarching theme A River Dreaming, developed by Nic Graham and Associates, pays respect to the Dreaming of the Turrbal people, which sees the river as the giver of life.
Ronnen Goren, director at Studio Ongarato, says that Studio Ongarato’s work with W Brisbane represents the studio’s ability to marry creative design outcomes with commercial objectives.
“Studio Ongarato’s engagement with W Brisbane strengthens the design studio’s relationship with a truly international brand, showcasing our ability to interpret myriad social and cultural contexts as design outcomes, imbuing the W brand with a sense of place and personality.”