The Farmers Home Hotel Northam
Status: Completed February 2020.
AllanMyles & BarryWilliams
The Farmers’ Home Hotel located on the Avon River in Northam is a sibling hotel to the Premier Mill Hotel in Katanning and forms an important part of our clients’ bold vision for tourism in the Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions.
Building on the success of the initial venture, the project breathes new life into the original 1866 hotel. The design approach responds to the Victorian era details of the heritage fabric with a contemporary interpretation of the period as an overlay of a new level of amenity and sophistication. We appreciate the grandeur of the buildings stone walls, wide hallways, arches, elaborate cornice moldings, high ceilings, grand timber stair and have sought to retain, reveal and add to this character in a playful yet understated manner that celebrates the layering of old and new.
The hotel entrance lobby, distinguished by the generous arched doorway and marble tiled entry loggia, is accessed directly from the main street. It is imagined as a drawing room furnished around an original fireplace and includes bespoke reception desk and leather chairs that feature throughout the project, set on a golden carpet that gleams gently like a field of wheat in the sun. Dramatic contemporary pendant lights hang from the original plaster ceiling roses.
From the entry lobby guests can access the hotel wine bar or the Dome café that occupies much of the ground floor or take the original grand timber stair to the guest rooms on level one. A new lift has been incorporated discretely into the lobby space allowing the stair to be the main feature.
The wine bar is named ‘The Temperance Bar’ in recognition of the hotels’ history with the Temperance movement, other details incorporated into the design relay interpretive historical information in an enjoyable and incidental way. The wine bar is open to the public and has a stylish yet relaxed atmosphere with a wine list that champions local wines from the Swan Valley to the Great Southern Region.
The guest rooms are all located on the first floor, the shape of the building, which was added to over time, follows the broad curve of the road and as such the rooms vary in size, shape and aspect. The verandah facing rooms have access to the newly reconstructed verandah facing Fitzgerald St. while other rooms have glimpses of the river.
The rooms are designed to compliment the original features and existing materials adding amenity without clutter. The walls are lined with a simple painted timber wall paneling that becomes a glazed timber partition to the ensuite. The Baltic pine floorboards were retained, and a distinctive black boarder added to give definition to the spaces.
The newly restored hotel stands proudly in the main street once again fulfilling an important role in the daily life of the town offering contemporary boutique hotel accommodation combined with welcoming country hospitality to visitors and locals alike.