2012 Melbourne Design Awards

Key Dates

Mercure Treasury Gardens, Melbourne

Image Credit : Bernie Phelan bernie@phelanphoto.com.au www.phelanmedia.com.au Studio 1 20 Bedford St Collingwood VIC 3066 P. 03 9486 0140 F. 03 9417 6233 M. 0419 305 438

Project Overview

WMK Architecture’s concept for the refurbishment was the notion of “The city meets the park”. This vision was inspired by the Hotel’s unique location within Melbourne’s CBD overlooking the beautiful Treasury and Fitzroy Gardens.
With this in mind, WMK set out to give the Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens an edgy “boutique feel” catering for the hotel’s existing target market and draws new types of guests to the property.
The rooms are contemporary and inviting, allowing its key design features to speak for themselves. The guests are greeted with a bold custom carpet, which blends Mercure’s brand colour palette with other complimenting colours representing the gardens that surround the site and the vibrant urban lifestyle of the city. The guests will then experience a unique aspect of Melbourne through a series of curated architectural images, photographed especially for the project, which are printed onto fabric and form part of feature bedheads.
All bathrooms were fully refurbished, allowing the compact space to be used more efficiently by eliminating the bath to make way for a shower with frameless glass screen.
The design injects a sense of local flavour while maintaining all the functionality demanded by Accor and its discerning guests.

Project Commissioner


Project Creator

WMK Architecture


John Andreas (Director)
Guy Blunden (Director-Projects)
May Fong(Interior Designer)

Project Brief

WMK’s brief was to deliver a fresh look and feel for the guestrooms, suites and bathrooms of the hotel which was in line with the Mercure brand standards and incorporated a “local flavour” appropriate to its location in Australia and specifically within the urban environment of the Melbourne CBD.
Consideration was also to be given to accommodating an increase in corporate travellers and their room and amenity requirements as well as the leisure guest.

Project Need

The Mercure Melbourne Treasury Garden’s project was a unique opportunity to deliver the first built example of the new Mercure global brand standard guestroom design outside of Paris, France.
Within the guidelines however, WMK was provided with ample opportunity to introduce new, contemporary and locally-tailored design detail.
We took the chance to push the envelope, proposing a contemporary, vibrant design which challenged some of the established notions of hotel design.
Furthermore, WMK chose to present the design concept in a “plug and play” format, preparing multiple versions of key design elements such as custom carpet and printed bedhead image at prototype room stage to allow Accor executives to review various design options live on site within the physical guest room environment.
This method, along with a range of 3D visualisation tools and on-site presentations by the WMK team, allowed the client to understand and be comfortable with the concepts and ultimately, approve the most dynamic design options for roll out across all rooms and suites in the hotel.
The result has been very well received both by the client and guests visiting the hotel.

Design Challenge

The challenge with any hotel project is working to budget and this was a particular focus for this project where budget per room was in the order of $24K including bathrooms. That said, WMK worked closely with Accor to incorporate existing elements into the design where possible including creative re-use of items such as artwork and photography to save cost and add unique flavour to the design.
The small bathroom footprint presented its own challenge and required careful planning, material selection and architectural detailing to ensure that all amenities were provided and to increase the sense of light and space without physically enlarging the room.


WMK’s approach to sustainability was threefold:
•Design from the outset to minimise the number and quantity of new built elements, fittings and details
•Strategic re-use of existing furniture, fittings and equipment wherever possible
•Specification of materials, finishes and fittings such as lighting which have recognised sustainability credentials as well as are of a suitably high quality to ensure for extended life periods thereby requiring less frequent maintenance and replacement.

This award recognises building interiors, with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes and aesthetic presentation. Consideration given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.  

Judging Note : Judging for this category will be finalised on Monday 27th August and Finalists will be announced on Tuesday 28th August.

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