Set within Sydney’s Surry Hills neighborhood, the original 1940s former headquarters of Paramount Picture Studios and the adjoining film storage warehouse have been converted by Melbourne-based firm Breathe Architecture into the new Paramount House Hotel.
A copper, chevron screen crowns its brick shell and converses with the neighboring art deco buildings of this former film precinct. The project explores the narrative between artefact and ornament, of place and of home. It’s an idea about expressing everything that was old, and true and honest and raw, about the existing warehouse; and capturing the spirit and excitement of the golden era of film.
The rigorous adaptive reuse strategy is intended to circumvent substantial building waste – reducing environmental impact while imbuing the hotel with textural narrative and architectural delight. To the existing brick and timber shell Breathe brought a robust authentic palette of structural and architectural metalwork, concrete, recycled timber, locally designed tiles, textiles, fixtures and fittings. Suites have been designed to include an external terrace, tucked in behind the existing brick envelope or copper screen facade, to provide shade, natural ventilation and the opportunity to interact with both streetscape and climate.
Paramount House Hotel is locally responsive and truly unique. Each of the 29 rooms is completely unique. No matter the number of times guests stay, they will never have the same experience. Suites feel lived in and warm, and with a hospitality-based approach to comfort and service, staying here you truly feel at home.
There are 29 rooms at Paramount House Hotel – and like its guests, no two are the same. The existing building is imperfect, with layers of wear that make each suite unique in offering, character and scale. Columns appear in different locations, unpredictable with remnant building features celebrated. Some suites express the patinated brickwork, parapet and gable ends, while others reveal the former stairwells, aged joists and struts. Traces of ornamentation are embedded throughout – sometimes bold, sometimes subtle. From freestanding, solid timber bathtubs and architectural metalwork, to lush greenery and locally made furniture and ceramics.
Preservation of the existing building fabric was a key to the sustainability strategy. Embracing the historic character and footprint of the warehouse, a series of new spaces are also created. A robust, honest material palette is incorporated throughout, serving a purpose to ensure the further longevity of the existing 80-year-old building. Materials are low in embodied energy and are locally sourced where possible, including recycled timber floorboards, low VOC finishes and mild steel throughout. Suites are furnished with all locally sourced and Australian made pieces.
A 7kW PV Solar Array located on the roof deck produces energy to supplement the operational demands of the building. Responding to its context, many of the suites each have a north facing winter deck, not only encouraging guests to engage with the external environment but also serving a purpose to provide shade and natural ventilation.