News Hospitality

Master Builders Award Recognises Rohrig’s Forest Hotel Project

6 April 2022

Value engineering, complex demolition and COVID innovation all contributed to Rohrig winning a Master Builders Association NSW Excellence in Construction Award (Hospitality Buildings, Refurbishment $15-20 million) for the creation of the Forest Hotel, including a stand-alone 1400m2 Dan Murphy’s.

The original Parkway Hotel and bottle shop at Frenches Forest were transformed into a vibrant new venue with multiple areas featuring different finishes to give each space a unique look and feel.

The project for ALH Group Hotels included a new sports bar, new kitchen, bistro, bistro bar, gaming bar, open-air gaming area, function space, children’s play area, bar, external beer garden and a full external facelift.

The design by architects, Cayas, responded to the changing demographics of the area and features light-filled interiors using natural materials, greenery and designer lighting to create a relaxed but vibrant aesthetic.

Environmental design principles specified the re-use of many existing building elements, and installation of energy efficient lighting and passive ventilation where possible. The design features a sculptform wall, multiple feature ceilings and curved-ply dry bars.

Demolition and remediation expertise

Before the new works could begin, Rohrig undertook significant demolition and remediation work with the brief to maintain parts of the original building structure.

Much of the building was in poor condition so great care was needed to manage the demolition and restore structural elements to a sound condition. Our site team worked with the carpenters, bricklayers, and structural steel contractors to minimise the removal of existing structural walls. Demolition included stripping out all internal finishes and the roof before removing some structural walls and slabs.

After positioning drainage and inground services, including beer and post-mix lines, we laid new footings for the function room and gaming area and laid blockwork to create the building envelope.

New slabs were poured for most areas of the project before we installed new structural steel columns and the roof structure.

Innovation through COVID challenges

What was by its nature a complex, multi-faceted project was made more challenging by the arrival of COVID border restrictions. With both architect and client in Queensland, we introduced virtual site inspections and video conferencing to minimise disruption to the program and ensure everyone was kept in touch with progress through all stages.

This was a major undertaking on a 47-week project involving additional remediation revealed by the demolition.

Value engineering and prompt delivery

Working closely with the architects and client, we were able to suggest a number of design and material modifications to offer a more economical approach to the same design intent. These included stone tiles instead of stone slabs on walls, which avoided major fixing and safety risks.

Our staging saved time and allowed the client to bump in and begin fit-out before handover. The project was finished and delivered on time, ready for the Christmas trading period.

The stunning makeover of the tavern has attracted many new patrons to the area and established the Forest Hotel as one of the Northern Beaches’ most popular venues.

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