The JAC Group — founded by winemaker Josef Chromy — have released the winning design for Launceston's newest development, the $50 million Gorge Hotel.
Melbourne-based architecture firm CBG Architects won the design competition, beating out five other firms for the chance to design the 4.5-star rated hotel.
The developer said that the next step was preparing a rezoning application for council so that the City of Launceston could formally consider the nine-storey height of the development.
[Related reading: Hobart’s Tourism Boom Drives Hotel Development]The competition’s jury said CBG’s design was reminiscent of the cliffs and waterfalls of Cataract Gorge with its use of tessellated glass for the façade.
The Gorge Hotel design features 130 rooms and all of the design brief requirements, including a conference room that could sit 500 and a restaurant that would be able to host 200 people.
CBG Architects director Pietro Giordano said they knew it was essential to provide a high-quality architectural development that would generate a new tourist destination for the city of Launceston.
[Related reading: The Alternative Development Model Lands In Hobart: The Commons]JAC Group’s motivation for the hotel was to respond to the growing tourism industry in Tasmania.
“Visitor numbers have been increasing at around seven per cent each year for several years now, which has increased demand for new hotels,” JAC Group managing director Dean Cocker said.
“Hobart has been booming since MONA with a dozen or so new hotels, and now it's Launceston's turn with four new hotels under development.
“We believe that the Gorge Hotel, within easy walking distance of the CBD and located beside the riverfront, has the potential to become the city’s gateway to the spectacular Cataract Gorge once the Gorge SkyLift is added to development.
Crocker said feedback so far from the Council and community was mostly positive which has made the developer confident that the project will obtain the necessary approvals.