The brief for the Coppersmith Hotel was simple, create a contemporary hotel and dining destination without destroying the historic charm of the landmark building in South Melbourne.
Housed in the old Cricket Club Hotel, the landmark pub was first licensed in 1870. Fast forward almost 150 years and the hotel is now a boutique establishment with 15 guest rooms, a gastronomic bar and dining room and a rooftop retreat.
Arched windows, original brick walls and timber battens speak of the original aesthetic, while modern updates using natural products like wood, copper, leather and our Segre drapery at the window add luxury without detracting from the heritage atmosphere.
The bedrooms are a particularly good example of this with dark wood furniture, modern light fittings and linen-look drapes to soften the original exposed brick walls and sash windows.
Throughout, the selection of artisan furniture and fittings reflects the design teams desire to support local design and craftsmanship.
The result is a modern hotel and dining venue that offers present-day amenities while maintaining a strong connection to the history of South Melbourne.
The pub on the corner of Clarendon and Thomson streets in South Melbourne, Australia has been there since 1870. At first glance it's still there, unchanged, but a clever, luxurious interior redesign has given the neighbourhood icon a new character while becoming a destination for the inner-city suburb.
An old face with a new body - "A home away from home for the busy traveller" is how owner George Bagios describes the boutique hotel, gastronomic bar, dining room and rooftop retreat. For George, it was important that the Coppersmith was, "a neighbourhood hang-out, a place where you're invited to become a local." So we drew on our diverse architectural and interior design expertise and designed what is effectively a new building behind the well-known, historic façade. A third storey and a timber rooftop deck were added and set back behind the original decorative parapet to obscure them from street view.
Behind the façade, arched windows, painted existing brick walls, timber batten detailing and occasional copper touches echo the original hotel design and signal the venue's elevation to a place that's special and personal. The kind of place to which people will return.
The 15 accessible guestrooms are also designed to make guests feel special. A simple palate, bespoke window fittings and bathroom fixtures plus considered furniture choices encourage people to relax within the space. Extensive work went into developing acoustics to completely block any noise from the bar and rooftop areas.
Designing for better business - "Good design makes the business run easier," says George. It's one thing to create a space that offers exceptional comfort and amenity, it's another to best use that space to deliver maximum financial return for the business.
Close consultation between HASSELL and the Bagioses resulted in a hotel layout that makes the bar and bistro areas easy to manage, streamlining activity and ensuring the right amount of staff for the best customer service.
The former Cricket Club Hotel on South Melbourne's Clarendon Street has been transformed into a slick new 15-room boutique hotel with a brand new rooftop terrace, a bar with 18 taps focused on craft beer and a cool dining room, the Coppersmith Hotel.
George Bagios, who owns the Coppersmith with his Dad, Con, fell in love with the old building as soon as he set eyes on it back in 2006, snapping it up the same afternoon. They engaged renowned design practice HASSELL to give the old girl a fancy facelift, and my, is she looking pretty slick these days; all parquetry floors and pale wood-clad walls in the dining room, with sleek pendant lights and sparkling white tables. Each of the Coppersmith Hotel's 15 rooms, spread across two floors, are just as stylishly serene.
"We've got a brand new building with an old face," Bagios says. "I wanted to change the name too, but it had to have something to do with the history of the place, after being in South Melbourne for 140 years."
Looking back into the history of the area, Thompson Street was named after a former mayor of South Melbourne. A prominent businessman with the city, he had been a coppersmith by trade. The name seemed perfectly suited to the artisan approach of the Coppersmith Hotel. "Everything we've done is a bit of grafting and crafting," Bagios says. " All the furniture is from designers or has been handmade."
For hotel guests, the focus at Melbourne's newest boutique hotel will be firmly on personalised service – you can even choose your own mini-bar contents, from healthy treats to craft beers and beef jerky – but Bagios is clear that he wants the Coppersmith Hotel to remain a place for the locals too, with the bar, restaurant and the rooftop deck, with its striking city views one way and Albert Park Lake in the other, all open to the public. "It's still your local, we want people to come, eat and enjoy, and if you want to stay the night, you can."
Coppersmith is a full service boutique hotel just minutes from Southbank and Melbourne’s CBD where we believe in offering you a lifestyle not just a room. Understated and refined, the interior of each of our rooms are luxury on an intimate scale.
Designed by international design practice HASSELL Worldwide our rooms combine luxe finishes with a free-standing furniture approach. Pieces from award winning Australian designers include custom-designed wall lamps by Ross Gardam, ottomans by Jardan and tables by Oak & Elm. The simple palette and restrained layering of materials and finishes allows for the historical features to remain part of the design.