From the outside, Surry Hills’ new Adge Hotel & Residences (known as the Adge) looks like your typical urban stay: a dark brick building that slips into its city surrounds, just moments’ walk from Oxford Street. It comes as a surprise, then, that behind the lobby’s glass sliding doors is an explosion of colour.

Sitting alongside the former Cambridge Hotel – which is currently being revamped and rebranded to join the building via a shared lobby – the Adge houses 93 guest rooms, each fitted out with bold psychedelic carpet, sculptural light pendants, pod-style bathrooms and mini Smeg fridges. There are 12 additional two-bedroom apartments, where wraparound balconies frame open-plan living and dining spaces and fully equipped kitchens.

The development is a collaboration between local architecture companies Tzannes and Team 2 Architects, with interiors by SJB. SJB director Andrew Parr began designing the hotel in 2020, channelling a darker time into something bright and hopeful.

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“I designed the Adge when Covid had set in and we were all stuck at home feeling a bit miserable and physically restricted,” Parr tells Broadsheet. “Just like the Memphis design movement was a reaction against the status quo – following the 1950s and ’60s mid-century modern and 1970s minimalism, which were all about structure and straight lines – the design process for the Adge felt like a colourful escape from the reality of restrictions.”

The overall colour palette, which spruiks bright reds, deep purples and gold accents, was inspired by Italian fashion houses. Then there’s the ’70s Memphis style that comes through in the curated street-art graffiti in the corridor. “The result is a melting pot of colour and expressive design through the years,” Parr says.

The colour continues into the lobby, where a large-scale mural by Victorian artist Adrian Hing takes centre stage. The ground floor is also home to one of Sydney’s best Korean cafes, Soul Deli, and intimate 10-seat omakase restaurant Raita Noda Chef’s Kitchen.

The Adge Hotel & Residences is now open for bookings after a soft launch last week, with the official opening in mid-August. It’s the first step in a $65-million transformation of the site, with the former Cambridge Hotel next door currently undergoing a significant overhaul. The next phase is due in early 2024, adding another 137 rooms and an Italian-leaning restaurant – with a top local chef already poised to take the reins.

Adge Hotel & Residences
212 Riley St, Surry Hills
(02) 8093 9888