Housed in Surry Hills’ historic Tyne House brick factory – the site of one of Australia’s first ceramic kilns – the 264 room hotel marks Ace’s very first stake in the Southern Hemisphere. With a ground floor restaurant, bar and cafe in the hotel’s communal lobby and a restaurant and bar on the rooftop, Ace Sydney invites the ready rhythm of Surry Hills inside – an active commons for culture, commerce, art and community.
“Though its culture and character are all its own, we’ve always felt a strong affinity with Australia – its intrepid optimism and renegade spirit resonates with Ace’s roots on the Pacific Coast of America,” says Brad Wilson, President, Ace Hotel Group.
“We love the country’s distinctive brand of modernism, particularly in the use of local organic materials, and were lucky enough to find a perfectly modernist partner in Flack Studio. David’s eye for color and space is completely singular – a dream design collaborator for our first hotel in Australia.”
Inspired by the rich history of Surry Hills and the warm, cinematic color palette of the Australian landscape, the design of Ace Hotel Sydney acts as a call and response with the city’s past – superimposing its eras and evolutions in a contrast of natural textures and tones.
From the razor gang wars and underground liquor trade of the 1920s and 1930s, the modernist art boon of the 1960s and through to the Gay Solidarity Group protests of the 1970s, the neighbourhood has long served as home to the most trailblazing and resilient voices of modern Australia – a culture coalesced from Surry Hills’ vibrant migrant communities.
Flack Studio embraced organic materials to create spaces honest to this history – from the acoustic textural straw walls of the hotel’s guest rooms to the striking ochre red off-form concrete staircase in its lobby.
A respect of craftsmanship is threaded throughout the building, with many of its furnishings, artworks and interior details created uniquely for this project. Guest room furniture, joinery and lighting have all been carefully custom designed by Flack Studio, with textile-adorned window seats designed to invite conversation in each space.
“Surry Hills has been home to so many culturally important movements and people, and has always been a home for creatives and migrating cultures,” says David Flack, Founder & Director, Flack Studio. “We wanted to preserve the creative, slightly renegade energy of the space since its origins as one of Australia’s early brickworks.
“We were committed to creating a warm space that brought together Australia’s cultural history with Ace’s unique, community cultivating approach to hospitality.”