Starting its life as a waterfront warehouse in the early-19th-century, the sandstone building that is now the site of boutique hotel in the heart of Salamanca has lived many lives. ‘Its been a pub hotel, brothel, offices, and a nightclub, to name a few’, describes Ganche Chua of , the firm entrusted with this significant project.
Carefully peeling away layers of the building’s more than 200-year history, the Circa Morris Nunn Architects team were able to ‘expose and restore the original building fabric’, allowing them to ‘tell the unique stories about a historic property that is impossible to replicate in a new building’.
Maintaining the integrity of the original structure was a key priority for the architects, who were committed to showing respect for the historical significance of the building, whilst imbuing it with modern flair. Many inherent qualities ‘were waiting to be discovered, restored, re-interpreted and transformed’ as Ganche and his team persevered with the challenging project.
No two rooms are alike at Moss, with design elements like light, textures, plants, views, and objects are painstakingly considered to ‘provide an evocative and experiential journey through the building’. The use of low lighting levels and dark surfaces, along with a selection of clean, crisp finishes for the new insertions strike a perfect balance between new and old.
Circa Morris Nunn Architects worked with a range of skilled local craftspeople, including furniture makers , and Andrew Bull, to produce bespoke pieces for the space.
For Ganche and his team, it was ‘a privilege to work on a building with such history and potential’. Not knowing what they were going to find underneath the layers of the building’s past, each new discovery sparked new ideas and design intent. Embracing the challenging site and persevering with their vision allowed Circa Morris Nunn Architects to achieve an outcome that truly respects its origins, as the building moves into its next phase of life.
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