You could say that Tonkin Zulaikha Greer wanted to tap into Sydney’s history and serve it up fresh when the architects combined a Victorian brewery headquarters with an Art Deco hotel to form the Old Clare Hotel in the city’s former working-class Inner West. The once-dodgy district of brothels, beer swilling, and crime in the Chippendale neighborhood is today one buzzing with cafés and creative enterprises housed in converted warehouses. The new hotel, part of the Singapore-based Unlisted Collection, is the centerpiece of a multibillion-dollar urban redevelopment project known as Central Park.
The architecture firm has a penchant for incorporating social and architectural history into its projects. The alley that once separated the pair of storied structures has been enclosed and transformed into the hotel’s lobby. The juxtaposition of the skinny, rectangular 1880s Carlton and United Brewery building with the curved corner hotel gives the new property a unique vibe, one that fits with the area’s gritty feel.
Inside, the 62 rooms breathe the industrial age with their cornices, old timber paneling, and original exposed brick. Soaring ceilings, picture windows, and a mix of vintage furniture, streamlined light fixtures, and custom-made contemporary pieces round out the look.
Eventually, the Old Clare will be home to a trio of eateries with top-notch culinary names attached. The first, Automata, opened its doors this week. And a rooftop terrace—complete with a bar and a pool—will provide stunning skyline views beginning in November.