Australian interior designers have been pushing the boundaries of late, with a series of controversial projects drawing the attention of the industry, media and the public.
After Sydney’s ‘kisses’ urinal design features prompted derision from both the public and the industry at large, another outside-the-box design scheme is also receiving a similarly mixed moral response.
The plan calls for a new motel redevelopment in Tasmania that promises visitors will literally sleep like the dead.
After buying south Tasmanian historic Willow Court, and specifically the morgue of the former psychiatric hospital, owner Hadyn Pearce decided it would better serve as a hotel for those brave enough to spend a night in what is expected to become a very realistic reinterpretation of the original space.
“We want to keep the experience as close as possible to a 1950s morgue,” says Pearce. “I figure there’s enough crazy people out there that want to do something different in their lives.”
This loyalty to the original design is expected to extend to sleeping conditions, where former autopsy tables will be turned into beds and storage refrigerators will be converted to bunks.
A twin sleeping option comes in the form of two terrazzo slab autopsy tables.
Vintage furnishings and some original autopsy tools make up the bulk of the interior design features.
“It will just be like another motel room I guess, just with some creepy bits and pieces,” says Pearce.
The appeal of the new and unknown stands as the major catalyst for the imaginative owner.
“I don’t believe that there is another morgue in the world for accommodation,” says Pearce. “If you don’t try it now it’s going to be too late when you end up doing it, going to a morgue.”
Pearce expects the motel will appeal to ‘Goths’, ‘Emos’ and ‘funky mums and dads.’
While he expects criticism over the highly unusual scheme, there is certainly a niche market for this kind of design. Gaining local Council approval, on the other hand, may be somewhat of a challenge.
“I suspect they’re probably up in arms,” says Pearce. “I guess they can come up with a moral problem. Can they stop people [because of] moral problems? I don’t know.”
If approved, the hotel will be open for guests next year.