Sorrento House, is an indelible part Kangaroo Island’s post colonial story, having been in continual operation since 1914. It has endured sequences of additions and subtractions over its time, but beneath these layers of heavy handed missteps sits a fantastic example of pre-war Edwardian architecture. Canvas Projects proposed redevelopment of this site starts with the liberation of Sorrento House, an exercise in peeling back of the recent additions to uncover the spirit of the original building and this place.
This is not a restoration project but a contemporary and sympathetic re-development with the original building as the focus. We seek to create an extroverted building that engages with its streetscape as it once did and is an inviting destination for those arriving by ferry and for those who call Penneshaw home. The architectural form of the proposed redevelopment is anchored by the reinstatement of the active street frontage to Sorrento House, starting with a contemporary reimagining of the Edwardian balconies. Matching the scale and functional intent of the original balconies that were removed, the new balcony and terrace spaces are gifted to hotel patrons with an extended terrace dining area and garden bar, a new function room to the upper level to enjoy unbroken views over the bay. These measures seek to activate the public realm by re-engaging this forgotten building with the street, returning this facility to its rightful place in this township and community.
The Sorrento House redevelopment includes a new two storey accommodation wing proposed to the east of the site and core refurbishment of the existing facility to rationalise and improve circulation. The contemporary architectural form of the new accommodation wing reference the tones and materiality of the island and this place. The scale and siting of this addition complements the redeveloped Sorrento House, while clearly delineating the original from the new.