Plans revealed for Australia’s most mind-bending new hotel

Andrew Munro 25 July 2017
museum-homo-atrium-render-mona-01

The proposed hotel atrium design

Expect more of everything.

The Hobart Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) has been planning a hotel extension for a while, and now the designs, by Melbourne's Fender Katsilidis Architects, have finally been made public. And they're definitely on the "New Art" side of the equation.

The five star, 172 room hotel proposal, named HOMO (Hotel at MONA) is set to carry a $300 million price tag. Supposedly inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge, designs show the top seven floors of this hotel hanging from a suspension bridge and a number of rooms extending right over Hobart's River Derwent. There are several other art hotels in Australia, but perhaps none that are more art than hotel.

Some parts of the frankly outrageous designs are still subject to council approval, but MONA’s multimillionaire founder and owner David Walsh appears set on making it happen, with the plans also including a spa, 1,075 seat theatre and sprawling lawn area, as well as "a stupendously engineered and out-fitted 3-storey public library, to house David's extensive collection of literature," in the words of MONA, and "a bunch more bars."

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The proposed hotel lobby.

The hotel will also feature unique suites designed by famous international artists, and there are also supposedly plans in the works for an on-premises high roller casino, a new tunnel and an additional tower.

With the majority of MONA currently hidden underground, the above-ground development of HOMO might finally be an above-ground presence worthy of its counterpart. Even without the shows and spectacle it brings, MONA still earns a spot on the list of best things to do in Hobart. And with flights consistently heading to Tasmania for under $100, you'll be able to ogle the exterior without breaking the bank, even though staying the night will almost certainly be out of most price ranges.

The popular Mona Foma (MOFO) festival will be shifted to Launceston while development is underway, but pending completion of the po-mo HOMO, the MOFO may return to MONA.

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