Braddon’s reign as a popular inner-city hangout shows no sign of waning, as new kid on the block Midnight signals a fresh chapter in the much-loved area’s urban development.
Canberra is a perfectly planned city, so it comes as no surprise that the capital’s coolest new precinct, Midnight, would be equally as thoughtful and design led. With Australian architects Fender Katsalidis at the helm, the precinct will merge residential apartments and commercial spaces with leafy communal spaces and a luxury boutique hotel, creating an integrated oasis of cool.
While the development of the precinct is a reminder of how far the little community of Braddon has come, and an indication of its future modernity, the creative foundations of this little hipster haven are not lost. The precinct’s hotel, for example, Midnight Hotel (set to open in September), is taking inspiration from Braddon’s creative community and has cleverly woven local stories into the hotel’s narrative.
Art in mind
In each of Midnight Hotel’s 199 rooms and suites you’ll find custom artworks created by Thomas Bucich. A New York native but permanent resident in Australia, Bucich describes the intent for his work to act as “a mirror to the culture in which it is produced”. A fitting candidate, then, to encapsulate Braddon’s creative roots in the hotel’s art. Using ‘midnight’ as his inspiration, Bucich employed natural and metal elements in each bespoke piece, playing on the notion of a personal habitat, allowing for individualism and a sense of self in place.
The art focus is on display in the hotel’s lobby, too, with work from Australian artist Tom Adair. Adair spent time in Braddon taking photos of the surrounds that spoke to him most about Canberra’s culture, history and future, and his understanding of how Midnight Hotel relates to its neighbourhood. The result is eight modern works (one on each lobby floor) featuring a mixed media of paint, wood and neon in his trademark urban style, stemming from his immersion into graffiti subculture and refined through an exploration of airbrushing and monochrome rendering.
The artistic collaborations don’t end there; Midnight Hotel is set to partner with the annual DESIGN Canberra Festival as official accommodation partner. A celebration of all things design in Canberra’s past, present and future, the festival will run 4-24 November and include more than 150 events, exhibitions, talks, tours, activations, markets and more – with the hotel playing host to a number of these.
The little details
Drawing upon Braddon’s creative community to design even the most practical objects, Midnight Hotel sought local industrial designer René Linssen to design brass bottle-openers in the shape of the Midnight ‘M’. One of the hotel’s signature pieces and designed to neatly nest in your hand and effortlessly pop open the top of a cold one, you’ll find one in every room. Cheers to that!
The abstract task of capturing the spirit of the Midnight Hotel and distilling that into a drink was given to local Braddon brewers, Bentspoke Brewing Co. The delicious collaboration saw chief brewer, Richard Watkins, develop Midnight Hotel’s very own pale ale, exclusively served on tap at the hotel’s bar. You’ll find more Bentspoke beauties in the carefully curated minibar – which is free, by the way.
Since swapping car yards for cool cafes, hip eateries and innovative microbreweries, locals and visitors to Braddon are known to be seriously savvy eaters and drinkers. It was a very serious business, then, to ensure that the dining options at Midnight live up to the community’s lofty benchmark. It’s an ambition that’s resulted in a casual restaurant and bar any Braddon local would be proud of.
Braddon Merchant is the deli-style eatery on the ground floor of the Midnight Hotel serving a thoughtful menu of Mediterranean fare that (you guessed it) champions local produce and suppliers. Bathed in glowing morning sunlight, it’s the perfect spot for your morning espresso or your go-to for a fresh, simple lunch or dinner.
For one of the hotel’s bespoke brews, or a restaurant option where the drinks dictate the food, then head to Midnight Bar. A bold and confident venue, its chic interiors and interesting dining concept will fit right in in Braddon. Promising the best produce of the region as well as further afield, Midnight Bar will be shaking and stirring from September 2019.