Taking a very different approach to design and artwork, the new Crowne Plaza Christchurch is designed to bring a new, creative energy not only to the hotel but the heart of the city.
The hotel will open on July 1 following renovation of the former office building, transforming it into the largest upscale hotel in Christchurch city centre.
Auckland-based design agency Designworks started with a blank canvas for the hotel's interior design, recognising the brave new opportunities in which anything was possible.
And complementing the hotel's innovative interior, the work of New Zealand photographer Stuart Robertson – creator of the global project -Peace in 10,000 Hands' -- features prominently throughout the hotel's public spaces and accommodation rooms.
The Designworks team recognised that Crowne Plaza Christchurch had an opportunity to be part of a new appreciation for hospitality, food and culture as the city reinvents itself.
'We were asked to do the work precisely because we don't take a classic design approach," architect Naomi Rushmer said.
'We thought a lot about the whole experience, how guests and visitors to the hotel will feel and use each one of the spaces within it. We thought about them arriving, resting, eating and working, and that all private and public spaces should provide the opportunity to experience each of these four things.
'We've done this by thinking how the hotel epitomises the new Christchurch, bouncing back with spirit and inventiveness, encouraging guests and visitors to make new connections in modern spaces buzzing with creative, contemporary energy."
Ms Rushmer said a key element to the design of guest rooms was the multi-use window seat designed to -hero' views of the city, coast, hills and the Southern Alps.
'We want guests to walk into the rooms and be simply drawn to the view," she said.
Timber slat walls in the lobby and lower floors exude natural warmth and add a textural feel to the property.
One of the key design features of the lobby is a three-sided fireplace creating a warm ambience as guests and visitors enter the hotel.
'It's very impressive, it adds some real drama and mood to the space, complemented by beautiful theatrical lighting," said Ms Rushmer.
The collaboration between Crowne Plaza Christchurch and photographer Stuart Robertson showcases his Peace in 10,000 Hands project and stunning New Zealand scenery.
Started four years ago, the project aims to challenge and reinvigorate a global conversation about peace and create history through art. To date Stuart has travelled through over 50 countries to capture over 3,000 images of a single white rose. A timeless symbol for peace, his images show it held in the hands of people from every walk of life on the planet.
His images have exhibited worldwide, and he's delighted to display a range of his works in the new hotel. The lift lobbies at each level also showcase different works, each one telling a different story of grace and wisdom.
'The feedback we've had so far has been very good, and people will imprint their own thoughts and impressions on each piece," he said.
Not only do some of his striking images for the peace project draw in the viewer around the property's public spaces, but his natural scenery works – close-up shots and aerial images of New Zealand's South Island – are focal points in guest rooms.
The new Crowne Plaza Christchurch opens on July 1 on the corner of Colombo and Armagh streets opposite Victoria Square.