David Walsh, eccentric millionaire, art collector and owner of Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) plans to build a new five star hotel called HOMO (HOtel at MOna), just next to the current art gallery in Berriedale situated in Hobarts North. In early July, visions of the proposed build were released.
Words: Madeleine Bryant
Photography: MONA & Fender Katsalidis Architects
The planned hotel is set to host 172 rooms, a three story public library for Walsh’s extensive book collection, a conference centre, a 1075 seat theatre, retail stores, extra gallery spaces and “an extremely expensive health spa”, in which David says, “You’ll pay because you’re easily deluded, or because it’s spectacular.’’ The building also not only overlooks the Derwent River but actually extends over it.
David says the hotel will “shout, what it is.” A vast contrast to the predominantly underground museum which can seldom be seen from above. The investment is said to cost $300 million to build and require excavation that of four times what was required for MONA.
Although Fender Katsalidis Architects who designed the much loved MONA, will also be designing HOMO, a lot of criticism regarding the appearance of the hotel has already surfaced. The proposed building is meant to bear likeness to the Golden Gate Bridge, but instead has been likened to a giant red shopping trolley.
Regardless of looks, it may help soften some views to know that David Walsh predicts, “the build of HOMO is expected to take approximately three years from commencement and will create 300 new full-time construction jobs. When open, HOMO will deliver an additional 120 full-time jobs on an ongoing basis.” It is also expected to boost tourism to the area.
The application will be submitted to Tasmania council later in the year.