Auckland to Receive Premium Hotel Experience

Hotel Grand Chancellor is bringing a new 12-storey hotel to Auckland Central, offering 191 guestrooms and suites for business and leisure travellers.

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The new hotel will be located on Wellesley Street West, directly across from the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) development. Resource Consent has been granted for the development, at a time when the tourism industry has been heavily impacted by the effect of the global pandemic and current border restrictions.

Frank Delli Cicchi, Hotel Grand Chancellor’s Group General Manager Australia & New Zealand, says Hotel Grand Chancellor has faith in the resilience of New Zealand.

“We are not deterred, and we continue to invest in this beautiful country. Our focus is for the construction of the hotel to be completed prior to the opening of the convention centre and ideally the reopening of our border to international travellers.”

This is Hotel Grand Chancellor’s first new-build hotel in New Zealand. Through its parent company, Hotel Grand Central Ltd (a publicly listed Singapore entity), they currently own and operate two hotels in New Zealand: a smaller apartment hotel in Auckland and the Hotel Grand Chancellor James Cook Hotel in Wellington. The brand also owns and operates eight other hotel properties in Australia.

Mr Delli Cicchi says that the hotel chain is “looking forward to expanding our presence in New Zealand with the addition of a large Auckland hotel and supporting the growth of the city into a key international destination. The addition of close to 200 guestrooms will support the success of the New Zealand International Convention Centre and greater New Zealand economy.”

The hotel will provide 10 levels of guestrooms over a two-level podium with public amenities, a laneway, and a central courtyard. The courtyard, which will feature vegetated trellises and native flora, will provide natural light throughout the building, and create the opportunity for both harbour and courtyard-facing rooms.

New Zealand-based Beca and Ignite Architects are partnering with Singapore-based interior design, DPDI Pte Ltd to deliver this exciting project. Beca is delivering project management and all major engineering services and Ignite leading the architectural design. Mr Delli Cicchi says that the collaborative process with the project team has been instrumental in the success of the project.

“The close collaboration and open approach has assisted greatly in solving the complex technical issues of a majority landlocked site.”

The hotel will provide 10 levels of guestrooms over a two-level podium with public amenities, a laneway, and a central courtyard. The courtyard, which will feature vegetated trellises and native flora, will provide natural light throughout the building, and create the opportunity for both harbour and courtyard-facing rooms.

A café will be adjacent to the lobby on the ground floor. Complete with a walk-up café window, it is conveniently located near busy bus stops and will offer barista coffee for pedestrians during the day. In the evening, the small café will convert into a bar, offering a selection of beverages and light snacks. At level one, meeting facilities and a restaurant will provide views across bustling Wellesley Street.

The building design is local in its approach, celebrating Auckland’s heritage through both cultural and geographic narratives. Ignite Associate Director Audrey de Filippis says the history of the site was monumental in its influence on the building design.

“Originally, the building’s location would have been within a forest, and due to the building’s height, many rooms have views across the harbour. The link between the coastline and forest was the catalyst for the design narrative. This was juxtaposed with elements that celebrate the more recent history of the site and its place in an industrial neighbourhood.”

A natural palette of building materials and textures that reflect the weathering effects of water are contrasted with more industrial materials, such as glass and metals, that showcase the industrial heritage. In addition to native planting throughout the hotel, the forest connection is further celebrated with a 9-storey mural design etched into the precast panels at the southern façade, designed in collaboration with artist Carin Wilson.

“As well as providing inspiration for the design, the location of the site created some interesting challenges for the team,” says Beca Market Segment Director, Leisure and Hospitality, Vijay Patel. “The unconventional shape and structure derives from the need to have a generous amount of natural light in all guestrooms, and maximise the room yield.”

The hotel will begin construction early 2021, with completion due mid-2023. The project is currently under tender and will be financed partly by internal funds and bank borrowings.

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