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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Crystalbrook Riley Wins Building of the Year

Crystalbrook Riley has received dual accolades at the Australian Institute of Architects’ Far North Queensland Regional Architecture Awards 2023.

The Cairns hotel, designed by CA Architects and ThomsonAdsett, has been honoured with the Eddie Oribin Award for Building of the Year. The building also received a regional commendation for Commercial Architecture.

The winning project consists of fully refurbished accommodation wings housing 256 rooms with ancillary function rooms below, an expansive lagoon pool with varying sculptural decks at differing levels, and a new accommodation tower housing an additional 55 rooms.

A tower shaped hotel made of glazed glass against a blue sky with puffy clouds
Crystalbrook Riley takes pride of place on the Cairns waterfront Photograph Mark Lane

The judges were impressed with the ground floor interplay between inside and out, public and private.

The new glazed, sculpted tower, capped with a rooftop bar and restaurant, was described as “cleverly disparate from the renovated building behind.” The jury expressed their admiration for the architectural feat.

By challenging local town planning concepts and positioning this ambitious tower on the corner of the site, the negative space between the buildings has taken on a new life, and the tower acts as a significant marker along the Cairns foreshore landscape.

The Crystalbrook Riley, a social hub on the Cairns Esplanade, will host several events this week in a collaboration with Cairns Fashion Week. Most notably, ticketholders will attend shows with a runway over the lagoon-style pool on Thursday 22 June from 5pm and 6:30pm. 

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