December 4th, 2019.
The Calile Hotel, designed by Richards & Spence, is the realisation of a multifaceted approach to design that is heavily influenced by both the pragmatics of urban development and a staggeringly entrepreneurial approach to hospitality that is borne from a deep understanding of the current status quo and the desires of the end user.
Anyone who grew up in the 90’s will remember Sim City. The ultimate game that preened the older of the millennial generation for the coming digital age. Subtle notions of urban development saw players have to find the balance and amenity required to stop their burgeoning city from succumbing to designated disaster criteria. Today, in reality, urban development is largely the result of fulfilling demand for an ever growing population and sometimes, this has a serendipitous end that no-one saw coming.
The Calile Hotel in Brisbane has been the talk of both the design and hospitality industries since it opened its lux doors in 2018. The Richards and Spence designed, brutalist inspired, mecca of leisure, wellness and sublime cool is an homage to the creative, evolutionary development of an inner urban precinct and a lesson in what can eventuate when minds remain open. Located in Brisbane’s lush James Street precinct, a cohesive sub-tropical hub on the cusp of the city filled with a considered offering of beautiful retail and piazza style eateries, the hotel’s construction was a bi-product of urbanisation. The existing precinct, having withstood the uncertainty of gentrification, had gained momentum and, with locals and tourists flooding to the area, the simple necessity of more car parking was required. When council posed that undercover parking could only be built in tandem with a hotel, the concept of The Calile was born.
In 2018, The Calile opened – carpark and all – to join the cohesive design aesthetic that had developed throughout the past fifteen years as James Street evolved. The crowning glory of the precinct, the hotel knits together the components of the area in a verdantly cohesive navigation of urbanity that harnesses the coveted outdoor lifestyle of Queensland and introduces a lightness and holistic appeal that is innately alluring.
The charm of the hotel lies in its resolved design that perfectly balances luxury with accessibility seeing it land to solidly occupy that elusive niche of ‘aspiration.’ A place to we can all temporarily covet and ultimately enjoy. A lifestyle offering that is translatable, harnesses a sweeping beauty that influences our own notions of wellbeing, and cleverly conspires as a place (anchored to the James Street Precinct as it invariably is) that you really never need to leave.
Images by Sean Fennessy.
Words by Tiffany Jade.