Tasmania's Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) has officially lodged plans with the Glenorchy City Council for the $400 million hotel concept formerly known as “HOMO”.
MONA’s founder David Walsh unveiled ambitious plans for a 172-room hotel and casino controversially named HOMO (Hotel at MONA).
Walsh and the MONA team are now pushing forward with the proposal, submitting a refined design for a five-star-hotel sporting a new tentative name: “Motown”.
According to a release from MONA, they ditched the name after widespread consultation with their staff and the community.
“As much as we had meant the name very much in a celebratory way (we hoped the name would keep homophobes at bay), it was decided that it wasn’t [founder David Walsh's] joke to make, what with his white man’s sausage and all,” MONA’s release said.
The $400 million hotel proposal will comprise 172 rooms, a theatre, spa centre, conference facilities, an outdoor concert stage and a library that will house David Walsh’s collection of books, documents and “weird stuff”.
“We are even working on some super-duper, ‘special experience’ rooms with some really-quite-good artists.” MONA said.
Walsh’s bold concept isn’t set in stone however, with the $400 million project still yet to be funded and Walsh claiming not to have the money “on him right now”.
“But then again he has claimed that before, and managed to cough up at the crucial moment,” MONA said.
Designed in collaboration between Walsh and Nonda Katsalidis, founder of architecture firm Fender Katsalidis, the final design iteration by Walsh’s admission is far from modest as it spans 53 metres over the waters edge.
Walsh and Katsalidis originally intended the design to mimic an “inverted suspension bridge”, yet after being value managed the project took a different form to first expected.
“But then the value engineers got at it.
“Now it’s a shopping trolley that looks a bit like an inverted suspension bridge,” Walsh said.
MONA are working closely with Dr Greg Lehman in regard to Aboriginal heritage issues on the site and independent environmental consultants to manage the integration of the development with existing land and marine-based flora and fauna.
A community consultation session is scheduled for 17 December.
If approved, MONA expected Motown to be open and operational by 2024.