The overall objective of the project is to create spaces which provide an experience and act as a destination for Cairns.
Inspired by the curtain fig tree, a vine like distinctive façade and screens begins in the open foyer, and continues through the canopy and up the two towers tower like roots of a curtain fig tree. It provides soft dappled light through to units behind whiles maintaining both openness and privacy.
The towers are linked with a 4 storey canopy which serves as the overarching element tying together the architectural components from the street, foyer, podium and towers in one rainforest scale space. The patterned translucent materials mimic a rainforest canopy, allowing dappled light to filter through to the spaces below, whilst providing weather protection and maintaining a calm and airy openness to the volumes below.
The gables of the Queenslander are re-invented in the podium level balcony soffits. Broad timber lined spaces activate the street. The Cairns vernacular is replaced in favour of simple modern lines and forms; re-focusing the experience to lush greenery and feel of the rainforest canopy.
The ground floor and foyer have been designed to provide an open and energetic experience, blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors. Generous vertical green walls and waterfalls provide impressive, yet authentic rainforest experience.
All frontages of the development are utilised, with activation focussed on the Abbott St end. Large bi-fold doors engage the public by opening up the entire ground plane the street.
Overall spaces are designed to be exciting, rather than sophisticated, with openness, activeness, colours, materials and furnishings playing a crucial part in creating atmosphere and instilling a unique local identity with a distinctive design.
163 Abbott consists of 210 hotel suites and 110 apartments which seamlessly share the ground floor hotel foyer, common meeting spaces and food and beverage.