Award-winning design firm Studio Ongarato were brought on by The Behrakis Group as a key appointment in the development of new boutique hotel Moss in Salamanca, Hobart. They were tasked to create a unique brand narrative which complemented the rich histories of the recently opened hotel. Renowned for their work on numerous property and hospitality projects, including the ultra-successful Jackalope Hotel Group, Crown Limited, Hyatt Group and The Lucas Group, Studio Ongarato worked on Moss’ brand strategy, naming, brand collateral, signage and art curation and art direction.  

Fabio Ongarato, Creative Director and co-founder of Studio Ongarato said of the project, “Hobart, and Tasmania more broadly, has rapidly evolved to become an international destination capturing the imagination of travellers. Our design response embodies perceptions of the island state, as a refuge of nature and wilderness but also as a culturally independent and artistically adventurous community.”

Set in the historic docks of Salamanca Place in Georgian sandstone warehouses, Moss has 41 rooms and is the latest business venture for the family owned Behrakis Group. Ongarato said of Moss’ name, “In line with modernising the heritage buildings, the brand narrative and design elements sought to reflect the making of the old new again, symbolised by Moss growing on a rock as a sign of renewal.”

Moss brings the Tasmanian wilderness into the heart of Hobart’s vibrant culinary and cultural centre.  Guests at Moss are invited into a secret hidden world above the busy trader stretch of Salamanca Place, allowing them to be immersed in all that Hobart and Tasmania have to offer.

Opening in two stages, Moss 39 being the first with Moss 25 set to open before Christmas, guests can choose from six rooms types – Loft, Pod, Bower, Grove, Grove Balcony and Grove Bath. These rooms, spread across the first and second floors and attic spaces of Moss 39 and 25, feature the added dimension of greenery brought inside through the use of vertical internal gardens.  The rooms also highlight the original raw timber beams and sandstone block walls within the heritage warehouses.

The Behrakis Group enlisted Ganche Chua from renowned Tasmanian architects Circa Morris Nunn on the multi-million-dollar project to re-imagine the interior of Moss’ historic buildings.  Known as Tasmania’s leading architects in the conservation and adaptation of historic buildings, Ganche Chua has transformed Moss into an inner-city sanctuary within the architectural concept of the warehouses. 

With a nature-inspired concept, guests will feel instantly relaxed when greeted with the natural colour palette of Moss – deep, forest greens paired with Tasmanian timbers. Of the colours used in Moss, Fabio Ongarato said, “As in colour philosophy, the collection of green artefacts created for Moss' visual identity reflect green as the colour of life, renewal and nature, associated with growth, harmony, freshness and the natural environment.”

The finishing touch to every room and common space is a print by the renowned Australian photographer Derek Henderson who was commissioned by Studio Ongarato to capture the elements of Hobart and Tasmania that Moss’ guests would not normally find on the regular tourist journey, and it is these works that are displayed on the walls of the hotel.

For guests wanting to sample the culinary offerings Hobart is becoming renowned for, Moss provides easy walking distance to a wide variety of many of the city’s acclaimed restaurants. Underpinned by a desire to ensure their guests are immersed in all Hobart and Tasmania have to offer, Moss has created the Host’s Bible, where guests will find over one hundred of Moss’ favourite bars, pubs and restaurants.  The connected insider, Moss offers guests an insight into the most authentic Tasmanian experiences, allowing them to be immersed in it all and escape the everyday.

Room rates at Moss 39, stage one of the hotel, start at $280 per night for the Bower, $340 for the Grove and $380 for the Grove Balcony and Grove Bath.