QT Sydney

Honor Award 2016

The flamboyant QT Sydney hotel captures everything its beautifully rejuvenated landmark site demands by blending Gothic, Italian and Art Deco architecture.  Old- world glamour, art-deco design and quirky theatrical touches are delivered with a twist.

New technologies, cutting-edge design and contemporary art were deployed as part of a placemaking strategy. In developing the hotel’s signage, environmental graphics and heritage installations, Fabio Ongarato Design needed to devise solutions for complex navigation routes while creating a holistic branding experience for hotel guests across two divergent sites—Gowings Department Store and the State Theatre Building. The design team’s strategy was a play on the juxtapositions of the present with the past inherent in the project—the elegant old department store with exhibitionism and voyeurism, the theatre with all its spectacle, illusion and glamour. The outcome is a cheeky, nostalgic nod to old Sydney, a pastiche of Gothic and Art Deco architecture, bespoke found objects and playful touches.

Jury Comments: 

"Wonderfully playful, with nostalgic theatrical references that set this hotel apart from the crowd. Artful eclecticism!"

"This one whispers of a boudoir experience. A very curatorial approach to placemaking, with beautifully executed typography and graphics. The clever use of theatrical lighting creates the expectation of something about to be revealed."

Design Firm: 

Fabio Ongarato Design


QT Sydney Boutique Hotels

Project Area: 

Boutique 200 key hotel

Open Date: 


Photo Credits: 

Peter Bennetts

Design Team: 

Fabio Ongarato (creative direction); Dan Pearson, Olivier Kowald, Dan Peterson, Caroline Cox (design); Anna Johnston (project management)


Nic Graham + Associates (interior designers/interior architects/design technicians)

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