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First Look with Designer Nic Graham

Dec 14, 2021  ·  4 min read

QTies, it’s finally here.

A first look into the newest addition to the family.

This stunner is our first regional hotel and we can’t wait to open its doors in April 2022, we mean counting down the days, minutes, seconds…

Expect 104 guest rooms and suites, public areas and private function spaces, with lashings of QT quirk you’ve come to adore. We’re not spilling the tea yet, however you know there’ll be a signature restaurant to boot and a rooftop bar with sweeping views at every vantage point.

We spoke to long-time QT collaborator, Nic Graham of Nic Graham & Associates, to provide some insight on designing a world less conventional.

Nic, you’ve been with QT from the beginning (how lucky are we?). From day dot, from Sydney, Perth to Queenstown, now Newcastle. What’s your favourite design quirk of QT Newcastle?

My favorite design quirk of QT Newcastle is the design narrative of the moon and how we were able to re-interpret the moon in a number of different ways throughout the hotel. The nicest part of the idea behind the moon is the regeneration of the moon cycle and the regeneration of an old building – had a like-mindedness that really appeal to us.

QT Newcastle is housed in the iconic 113-year-old David Jones building. What’s special about designing heritage-listed buildings?

Reinvigorating, breathing new life into an iconic heritage building. We respect and maintain the raw shell and layer contemporary life within. It’s a nice reminder of the human spirit, that we all come from something. We have created a cocooning interior through colour blocking and juxtaposing textures, which evoke the history of Newcastle.

At QT Newcastle, the rooms have great height, and we were able to hero these stunning rejuvenated floor-to-ceiling heritage windows.

This is all central to the theme of renewal which is felt throughout the hotel. The many references to the moon and lunar eclipses is a key design element, and elevated through playing with light and reflection.

QT Newcastle is our first regional hotel, what makes Newcastle special for you?

QT Newcastle - Newcastle Accommodation

The city’s history. Guests will be able to see a nod to Newcastle across all design elements. A city built on the coal industry, this is seen in the caged metal wardrobe, rust red minibar and furniture casters, reminiscent of refineries. The foundation is set with black steel and woven metals, and are beautifully contrasted with luxurious plush sofas, textured furnishings and vibrant bed throws.

We’ve approached the design with new beginnings and renewal at the forefront, every touch point soaks up the region’s sand to sky.

What’s the process behind selecting the colour palette for the rooms?

The reference to the changing hues of Newcastle’s coastline. The dusty pink at dawn, sea foam green and aquamarine bathroom tiles which evoke a quintessential Australian Summer. And, as I mentioned earlier, there’s industrial red and charcoal black, a nod to the history of the city. The charcoal creates a strong grounding for the lighter colours of the palette to pop.

Thanks for the rundown on the guest rooms and suites. Finally, what can we expect from public spaces, restaurant and bar?

An incredible art collection. A continued ode to Newcastle, and drawn inspiration from the elements; earth, water and light.

Each QT hotel is a character in its own right, and we can’t wait to meet this one.

There you have it QTies, Newcastle ain’t seen anything like this yet.

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