Responses by Fabio Ongarato Design
Background: Fuelled by a desire to merge his love of film and the arts with his family hotel legacy, owner Louis Li’s vision was to create a most unique escape in the heart of Australia’s Mornington Peninsula wine region. Fabio Ongarato Design (FOD)'s brief was to establish the Jackalope brand in Australia and globally, as an art hotel for the adventurous and curious.
Reasoning: The transformative nature of the Jackalope creature is embodied in the brand identity and further influenced the creation of the overarching site-inspired narrative theme “Alchemy,” connecting all elements of the experience and interior design. The Jackalope project is the ultimate embodiment of FOD’s passion for unifying interiors with a narrative that is authentic to the location to produce differentiated guest experiences. This project called on all of the services that FOD offers, including conceptual site narrative design, brand identity creation, art curation and commissioning, environmental design and wayfinding to produce an outcome that is a more memorable experience for patrons and true expression of the philosophy of the client.
Challenges: The most important and challenging aspect of the project was establishing a unique narrative to frame all the design decisions at a point where the architecture and interiors were already well progressed and in need of realignment. The “Alchemy” narrative offered guests an immersive journey through the dramatic statements and intimate shared experiences.
Favorite details: Collaborating with the architects, landscapers and artists created some truly memorable moments, including Emily Floyd’s iconic 23-foot mythical Jackalope sculpture at the hotel’s porte-cochère and Doot Doot Doot’s 30-by-30 foot lighting installation designed in-house by Fabio Ongarato Design.
Visual influences: Fabio Ongarato Design strategized, designed and established the DNA and brand principles of the Jackalope identity informed by a series of hybrid statements: Cute/Fierce, Mesmeric/Rebellious, Enticing/Elusive, Expressive/Mysterious. This duality established the inspiration for the creation of a world where a hybrid state is constantly transforming to reveal the unconventional.
Specific demands: Fortunately, our client Louis Li brought very clear references to the table, so our collaboration with him took us into obscure and dramatic territories.