Jackalope is on the shortlist for the world’s biggest design award

The hotel's entrance features a sculpture of a Jackalope, the mythical creature after which it was named. Photo: Supplied

The hotel's entrance features a sculpture of a Jackalope, the mythical creature after which it was named. Photo: Supplied

Australia’s best hotel is about to take the world by storm.

Jackalope on the Mornington Peninsula has made the shortlist for the World Architecture Festival Awards, the largest architectural award program in the world, which will be held in Berlin in November.

Sleek, modern and intriguing, Jackalope has already been named hotel of the year at Gourmet Traveller’s 2017 Australian Hotel Awards, and is the creation of Melbourne firm Carr Design Group.

Jackalope

Related: Getaway to Australia’s hotel of the year, Jackalope 

Chris McCue, one of the firm’s directors and project leads, says designing Jackalope and working with its owner and visionary Louis Li was an experience like no other.

“The brief from Louis was much more about how he wanted the emotions of people who were visiting the space to be altered and your mindset to be changed as you enter each space,” Chris says. “So it really was unlike any other project we’ve ever had.”

Jackalope is shortlisted in the Hotel and Leisure category along with nine other buildings. It’s the first time Carr Design Group has been nominated for the prestigious award.

“We’re all really excited, it’s been an amazing response so far,” Chris says.

 

Jackalope. Photo: Sharyn Cairns

Jackalope was designed to tie in with the landscape. Photo: Supplied

The hotel was designed around an existing winery, meaning the new buildings had to tie in with the vineyard and the natural surrounds.

“We were taking design cues from the existing horticulture buildings and the wine-making buildings on the site,” Chris says. “Something that was quite arresting and quite shocking in a way, as a new gallery/hotel building, sits quite comfortably in the landscape as just a continuation of the existing buildings on site.”

It was designed with the modern guest in mind, so every corner of the space is highly Instagrammable. Since its opening in April the hotel has been geo-tagged more than 1700 times by visitors.

A post shared by Jemimah Clegg (@jemimahclegg) on

“Louis asked us to create a space or a series of spaces and a building that is going to be heavily photographed and published on social media,” Chris says.

The space has been given the utmost attention to detail, from the tin-shed inspired pyramids at the property’s entrance to the monochromatic finishes in the guest rooms.

“Every surface has a treatment and is elevated to a luxurious level, beyond what you might expect for a country hotel,” Chris says. “Everything is designed to capture your attention and your view and to guide it in a particular direction.”

 

Jackalope room with bath. Photo: Sharyn Cairns

Jackalope room with bath. Photo: Supplied

The bar, restaurant and lobby are all adorned with art – much of it by Australian artists – and though it makes the space playful and whimsical, Chris says the hotel’s heart is its simple, classic design.

“There alway needs to be a balance and you need to design for longevity,” he says. “If you strip out all the art installations, the base building is black, it’s classic, it’s highly refined and detailed, but it accommodates art in many different forms.”

Jackalope hallway. Photo: Supplied

No, this isn’t a new Tron film, it’s one the hallway at Jackalope. Photo: Supplied

Chris says he and the team at Carr are excited to be recognised in the shortlist for the awards, and hope that it will give further recognition to Victorian architecture and the Mornington Peninsula.

“I think what it has the potential to do for the Peninsula is really exciting. Pushing Melbourne even further onto the world stage is really something we’re proud to be a part of,” he says.

 

 

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