Melbourne-based ODO to design Australia’s first 1 Hotel interiors

Melbourne-based interdisciplinary design firm ODO has been appointed to design the interiors of Australia’s first 1 Hotel, fusing the firm’s expertise in sustainable design and advanced design methodology to create a hotel experience that will continue to put Melbourne at the forefront of travel experiences.

Situated on the northern bank of the Yarra River, 1 Hotel Melbourne will form part of Seafarers, a $450 million mixed-use project by Riverlee that will transform a once forgotten site into a lively precinct, comprising luxury residences, a waterfront public park, state-of-the-art events venue, F&B offerings and 1 Hotel Melbourne – offering 280 guest rooms.

The nature-inspired and sustainably-designed hotel, operated by SH Hotels & Resorts, an affiliate of renowned hotel and private investment firm Starwood Capital Group, has already garnered accolades and a loyal following with the opening of its first four hotels in the United States, including New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park, South Beach, Miami and newly opened 1 Hotel West Hollywood.

Each 1 Hotel is designed to highlight the beauty of nature, fusing luxury with sustainability and environmental responsibility, with a focus on local sourcing and the communities in which it operates; that same mission will be brought to 1 Hotel Melbourne.

“We were pleased to discover ODO while conducting our nationwide search for the right design studio that would embrace 1 Hotel’s design philosophy and sensibilities,” said Vice President, Design, SH Hotels & Resorts, Tony Machado.

“In collaboration with ODO, we seek to bring a deep understanding of the local context from a fresh perspective,” he said.

Working alongside 1 Hotel’s in-house design studio, the hotel interiors will draw inspiration from surrounding nature, the history of the site, the urban fabric of the city and the evolving culture of Melbourne.

“We are looking to create an environment and ambience that is rooted in these local narratives,” said Samson Tiew, Co-Founder and Director of ODO.

“This will be achieved through the exploration of regional materials, an extrapolation of what we believe gives a true experience of our city, and also incorporating work by local artists and artisans into the space we are putting together.”

“Beyond the immediate references to the Victorian landscape and urban context, an important part of our design process is to question and discover what sort of experiences our guests will embrace and identify with,” he said.

ODO recently embarked on a global study tour to gain insight into future trends in hotel experience, with the design team eager to implement and extrapolate some of their key learnings with 1 Hotel Melbourne.

“Over the last few months, we have been establishing these narratives with the project team and have arrived at a collection of stories that inform the design of the different spaces within the hotel.”

“For example, we are exploring a pool design that is inspired by the naturally-formed Victorian waters, the public spaces as a reference to the more intimate, ground-plane experiences within Melbourne’s streets, and the rooms as a celebration of some of the more tangible resources, products and materials from our city,” said Samson.

Riverlee Development Director David Lee said ODO was a clear choice for the hotel interiors, with the firm’s values and beliefs aligning with both Riverlee’s, and the 1 Hotel brand.

“ODO is an up and coming design firm in Melbourne but are quickly making a name for themselves due to their progressive and innovative thinking when it comes to spaces and how we interact with them,” he said.

ODO joins a stellar line up of consultants on Australia’s first 1 Hotel, including Fender Katsalidis on the overall design of Seafarers and Oculus who are responsible for bringing nature into the precinct, and 1 Hotel more specifically.

Placing a strong emphasis on urban renewal and restoring the site’s historical elements, Riverlee has worked closely with the State Government to ensure the Malcolm Moore crane, the wharf and the Goods Shed No.5 are incorporated into the redevelopment of the site.

1 Hotel Melbourne will open in 2022. For more information on Seafarers please visit Additional information on 1 Hotels can be found at

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