artists james turrell and marina abramović will design a spa as part of a new hotel development on the australian island state of tasmania. the hotel, titled ‘motown’, will be built alongside the museum of old and new art (MONA) a subterranean museum, which opened in 2011. the hotel, like the museum, is the brainchild of businessman and art collector david walsh, with both projects also sharing the same architect — fender katsalidis.

james turrell marina abramovic spa motown hotel
all images courtesy of MONA / fender katsalidis



according to NOMA, the design of the hotel cycled through many iterations over many years, emerging through the collective efforts of architect nonda katsalidis and david walsh, among others. ‘we wanted an inverted suspension bridge,’ walsh says, ‘but then the value engineers got at it. now it’s a shopping trolley that looks a bit like an inverted suspension bridge. the horizontal distance from the land to the point is 53 meters. it’s not modest.’

james turrell marina abramovic spa motown hotel
the hotel’s atrium



the five star hotel will have 172 rooms, which cantilever over the water to make the most of the river views. inside, there will be a theater, spa center, outdoor concert stage, and a library, as well as conference and auditorium facilities, and several new artworks. the art newspaper reports that the spa center will be designed by james turrell and marina abramović, while MONA is also working on some ‘special experience’ rooms.

james turrell marina abramovic spa
the plans also include a theater



the development application for motown has been submitted to local authorities, and the hotel could open as soon as 2024. see MONA’s entertaining announcement of the project here.



project info:


architect: fender katsalidis
client: MONA/david walsh 
location: hobart, tasmania, australia