100% owned by the Government of Papua New Guinea, Star Mountain Plaza provided essential facilities to support the Government’s role in hosting APEC 2018. Ignite and subconsultants Grimshaw Architects delivered the 212-room, five-star Hilton Hotel, complete with two restaurants, a cafe, two bars, an outdoor pool and event spaces, along with the 4,000sqm multi-level convention and performing arts centre ‘Kutubu’.
The project team adopted the principles of sustainability; environmental, social, and economic impacts were considered at every phase. Minimising the buildings’ energy consumption and running costs, without undermining functionality and comfort, was paramount.
"This significant development is exceptional in terms of its scale and environmental relevance. Over time it will be a source of economic growth, both as a tourism venue and a place of entertainment and employment."
It was important for Star Mountain Plaza to become a source of pride for the people of Papua New Guinea. However, the diverse tribal culture required a sensitive interpretation to achieve an authentic yet inclusive outcome. Through extensive research and consultation, the Ignite team developed a meaningful application of materials, motifs, local artwork, colours, and textures that not only worked within their assigned spaces, but that told the story of the region and its people.
The 100m long timber roof of the convention centre, which references the architectural tradition of the Pacific longhouse, minimises the building’s energy consumption and running costs without undermining functionality and comfort. The upper storeys of the convention centre have no side walls, with the canopy roof providing protection from sun and rain and the open sides facilitating natural ventilation.
Ignite worked with the Hilton Hotel representatives to ensure international brand and operational needs were met. Study of the sun path confirmed that mitigating solar gain was going to be a significant challenge for the project. The concept of traditional war and ceremonial shields forming external shading screens was developed, protecting the hotel interiors and thereby reducing demand on plant size and ongoing energy consumption.
Stage two of the project will see the development of a residential tower, while stage three will see a 150-room hotel added, along with additional retail, commercial, and office space.