The Ace Hotel, designed by Bates Smart, occupies the site of a former ten-storey warehouse, with modern refurbishment restoring some historic features.
Located in Surry Hills, the site was originally built in 1915-16 and named Tyne House. The warehouse refers to the Chicago skyscrapers of the 1860s. The building was refurbished and expanded in the form of an 18-storey tower with 257 hotel rooms.
The existing glazing and brick were retained, with the inside of the existing building being modified and molded with the tower above. The tower celebrates the city’s historic grit with a pronounced frame based on the warehouse style of Tyne House below, and an anthracite-colored terracotta facade evoking the masonry character of the surrounding context. Inside, there are a number of active spaces between the entrance, including a bar, restaurant and cafe.
“The existing building is not considered a heritage site, but has historical significance for the area. Tyne House was the first high-rise contributor to the Wentworth Avenue warehouse area, known for its rare and early use of concrete, both as a steel frame sheathing and as floors,” said Bates Smart Director Guy Lake.
“Adding sliding doors allows the ground floor cafe to open into Foy Lane during business hours, giving the space an indoor-outdoor feel,” says Lake.
“The architecture is the perfect backdrop for Ace Hotel’s signature approach to blending history with the contemporary to create bona fide experiences. The building defends the rich history of the site, creates a unique landmark for the outskirts of the city and recognizes a community with a desire for memorable cultural experiences.”