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Studio Ongarato designs ‘narrative-led’ hotel W Brisbane

Studio Ongarato designs ‘narrative-led’ hotel W Brisbane


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.”

hallway at the W Brisbane

“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.

reception at the W Brisbane

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.

the bar at the W Brisbane

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.

Wet deck at W Brisbane

“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.”


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