November 29, 2006
by Canadian Architect
In early November 2006, the jury of the European Hotel Design Awards honoured the Hotel & Spa for Loisium in Langenlois, Australia with the Best Hotel Architecture Design Award (new build) for its subtlety and restraint over skyscraping design theatrics. The jury wrote about the design by Steven Holl Architects, “The hotel blends in perfectly with its surrounding landscape. Its innovative use of materials reflects both the location and raison d’tre.”
The Hotel & Spa is part of the Loisium winery for which Steven Holl Architects also designed the Visitor Centre. The complex is built on a gently south-sloping vineyard above a historic subterranean wine vault system, which includes 900 year old stone passages. Both the Visitor Centre and the Hotel & Spa are based on the geometry of this subterranean network, while simultaneously having individual qualities of space, materials, light and experience.
The square plan of the Hotel & Spa is aligned with the strict geometry of the surrounding vineyard rows. Earth-like materials and palette combined with the views of the surrounding landscape create a strong connection and relationship of the hotel to its context.
Public functions including the lobby, a wine-themed restaurant, bar, cigar lounge, conference and meeting facilities, and the spa area are located on the ground floor with views open to the surrounding vineyard. An inviting courtyard and terrace provides outdoor seating. Eighty-two guest rooms are located on two upper floors. While the ground floor is transparent and open, the upper