Capella Hotels and Resorts has just announced the highly anticipated opening of its first Australian property in March 2023. Capella Sydney is the culmination of a stunning transformation of the heritage-listed Department of Education Building into a luxury hotel that will welcome guests and patrons for the first time in the building's history. The Artling is thrilled to be involved in the project as the appointed art consultant, which will involve an Australian-focused collection.
The Artling's Director Talenia Phua Gajardo, says "Australia is full to the brim with talented artists and this project is an amazing opportunity to showcase many of these creatives throughout the various spaces of these sprawling heritage properties. It is so great to be working with the visionary team at Pontiac Land Group again - we all have a clear vision of integrating the important history of the building with the new life it will take on, with art playing an extremely vital role in its identity."
Occupying an entire city block, encircled by Loftus, Bridge, and Young Streets, this historic building is nestled in close proximity to Sydney's commercial, arts, and cultural districts and at the heart of Sydney's latest retail and hospitality precinct. Paying homage to the city's rich history, the re-imagined stylish and contemporary interiors juxtapose the old-world heritage charm, creating a serene atmosphere and a peaceful escape from the bustling surrounds of Circular Quay and the northern Sydney CBD.
An iconic sandstone structure with Edwardian Baroque style architecture, the building was designed in two phases. From 1912-1915, government architect George McRae designed the Bridge Street side that was home to the Department of Education. The historic building was the "flagship" for the education system in New South Wales. It stood there alone for 15 years before John Reid & Son completed the second half, facing Farrer Place, that became home to the Department of Agriculture. Commenting on the artwork selection, Kim Tay, Gallery Director of The Artling says "The Capella Sydney collection will not only honour the history of the building and its surroundings, but also feature a diverse range of artists working across a variety of media, textures and themes."
"We're looking forward to breathing new life into Sydney's historical Department of Education Building together with Pontiac Land Group. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to establish our presence in Australia, introduce Capella's craft of hospitality and continue our growth beyond Asia." - Cristiano Rinaldi, President of Capella Hotel Group
Upon entering the hotel, guests will feel a sense of grandeur with soaring ceilings and refined interiors that embrace the aesthetic of the original building. A bespoke art installation ‘Meadow’ by Studio Drift will showcase the unrivalled space within the central atrium. Suspended below an enviable glass ceiling, the kinetic sculptures blossom by mixing the light colours and the gradient of the fabrics, reacting to guests as if they were the sun to a blooming flower.
The ground level of Capella Sydney will be home to multiple food and beverage offerings and six meeting and conference rooms for entertaining groups of 10-80 people. The signature restaurant, Brasserie, will be designed in a modern art deco style from the 1930s, which was inspired by the building itself. In honour of architect George McRae, the McRae Bar is a modern interpretation of the glamorous roaring 20s. Drawing inspiration from these eras, talented mixologists will curate bespoke vintage-inspired beverages with a twist.
“Following seven years of meticulous planning, conservation and renovations, Pontiac Land is proud to unveil this grand hotel together with Capella Hotel Group. Capella Sydney will elevate luxury accommodation options for business and leisure travellers, and inject fresh energy into the rejuvenated Circular Quay precinct.” - David Tsang, Chief Executive Officer of Pontiac Land Group
With an all-encompassing approach to well-being, the hotel's offerings include the award-winning Auriga Spa, a 20-metre swimming pool, a fitness centre, and yoga platform. Auriga Spa draws on the strength of its surroundings with a focus on ancient holistic practices. The spa's array of treatments has been created to counteract the challenges and effects of a modern lifestyle and provide guests with the space to heal and rejuvenate their minds, bodies, and souls.
About Capella Hotels
The Capella Hotels and Resorts collection consists of properties located in Singapore, Ubud, Bangkok, Hanoi, Shanghai and Hainan. Capella Sydney will be the first one in the Australian market. Future openings include exciting destinations such as Japan, Maldives and South Korea. The exceptional hospitality brand, taking its name from the brightest star of the Auriga constellation, shines a spotlight on local heritage, culture and community whilst crafting authentic guests' experiences with the highest level of personalised service and combining a legacy of thoughtful design. Capella Hotels and Resorts was named 2nd Best Hotel Brand in the world in the Travel + Leisure 'World's Best Awards' in both 2021 and 2020.
About Pontiac Land Group
Pontiac Land is a privately-held property developer, owner, and operator based in Singapore. The Group’s collection of properties includes mixed-use developments with hospitality, commercial and residential components. Leveraging sixty years of experience in luxury property development, Pontiac Land seeks to better the built environment through thoughtful architecture and design. Each development is curated with art and spaces are maintained by the Group’s in-house property management team to deliver hospitality to our guests and tenants. The collection spans Singapore, New York, Sydney and the Maldives. In 2006, Pontiac Land co-founded Capella Hotel Group in Asia. The Group subsequently acquired Capella Hotel Group as a wholly-owned subsidiary in 2017, extending Pontiac Land’s presence to over 20 destinations globally.
All images are courtesy of Capella Hotels and Fat Tony Studio.
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