Hunt Architects acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and conduct our business.

We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We value their continuing culture and contribution to the life of our nation, regions and cities.

17 June 2024

Heritage to Hospitality: Exchange Hotel’s Construction Progress

With Exchange Hotel’s construction in full swing, we wanted to capture some moments on site to share its journey. Architects don’t often show the messiness of construction but seeing the next chapter of the Exchange Hotel’s life unfold in real-time has been captivating.

Given its incredible history, this project holds immense importance to the community and Hunt Architects – project opportunities like this don’t come by every day. It’s been incredible to watch this old building come to life again; our project team have been visiting site weekly to ensure every detail is captured with precision and care.

Located on the banks of the Bilya Maadjit (Murray River), Exchange Hotel sits on the traditional lands of the Binjareb people of the Noongar Nation. We acknowledge their continuing connection to this place and pay our respects to the elders, past and present and their ongoing contribution to the culture and life of this region.

The Shire of Murray developed a distinctive vision to redevelop this site into a vibrant destination and contemporary hospitality venue – intending on creating a “regional icon” for the community. The architectural concept aims to honor the heritage of the multiple structures while adding new elements providing a contemporary overlay. The design contains a mix of solid and open spaces, housing bars, dining areas, function rooms, and a new commercial kitchen. The venue will accommodate up to 600 people inside and out. Each outdoor area will reflect its surroundings, from the urban courtyard at George Street to the terraced gardens leading to the Bilya Maadjit (Murray River), the foreshore, and the amphitheater.

“Every site visit has been exciting as progress is happening rapidly now. Last week we saw the majority of hardscaping facing George Street nearing completion.  The local community are very involved, and it’s great to feel their investment in this project.”

–          Sinan Pirie, Project Architect for Exchange Hotel

The interiors celebrates the history of the site by revealing its past through thoughtful design. We have strived to respect the building’s former uses and construction techniques while creating a modern space that seamlessly blends old and new elements. The palette is raw and rich, interpreting the original materials and textures, combining different materials to create a visually appealing and tactile experience for guests.

“Heritage-based projects are an interior designer’s dream! The latest construction update for interiors has seen removing existing walls to create open dining areas. We decided to retain portions of the original walls and incorporate thin, brass, floor details to mark where the they once stood. This feature serves as a “building footprint,” preserving its original usage. Seeing this vision come to life has been incredibly rewarding.”

–          Isabelle Joyce, Interior Designer for Exchange Hotel

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