Tucked away in Brisbane’s inner creative pocket, sits TRYP Hotel on Constance Street, Fortitude Valley – also known as Australia’s first ever, 65 room, boutique ‘Street Art Hotel’.
The building itself posses an interesting past. Presumably around 150 years ago, the space was once a clubhouse for the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, the Brisbane chapter of an international and mysterious secret society. An antique plaque from this time was discovered in the development stages of TRYP and is now displayed in the reception area of the hotel. Post clubhouse history, the building was a central backpackers hotel which then became abandoned due to reasons not currently known. It was through this time of abandonment that the space became an inner city hub for local and international artists.
AFTER: An open landscape rooftop bar, ‘UP on Constance’
Previous features of the abandoned backpackers included level upon level of tags, art and scrawlings constantly changing with each visit. A huge staircase leading up to the highest point of the building also boasted rooftop views and a small shelter tower where one could, (surprisingly enough) get free WiFi by connecting wirelessly to nearby business’s access points. Not the ideal holiday destination for most, but it was in this wasteland state that the space truly flourished.
TRYP’s vision and consideration to stay true to the building’s past street style was a respectful and admirable decision by their developers. As old walls got touched up and painted over, new murals appeared to stay from some of Australia’s most prominent street artists, Rone, Numskull, Fintan Magee and Beastman.
“Their vibrant artworks serve as a foundation for the hotel’s distinctive concept, resonating through every aspect of the business, from the eats to the beats, the boys’ effervescent and evocative creations set the tone for Brisbane’s most audacious inner-city haunt.”
Hidden in the stairwell and storage rooms, a few of the buildings original pieces still stand and are now embedded into the iconic history of the TRYP Hotel.
Benjamin Reeve’s original character found on the entry level floor of the abandoned backpackers is now an amicable feature of TRYP hotel thanks to Rone who incorporated the aged work into his commission piece.
This security camera stencil and female character can be found in TRYP’s food storage room, a place you will likely need to seek assistance to find, but is still a preserved artwork.
This Fintan Magee piece painted in the abandoned backpackers many years ago also still remains, though it’s now living inside the confines of a Chur Burger/TRYP storage cupboard.
If you’re yet to check out TRYP hotel, we recommend you do. Looking back at the building’s history and forward with TRYP’s developments arises thoughts of appreciation, acceptance and celebration for graffiti and street art in contemporary society. Trust us, it’s worth the ‘trip’.
Image Credits: TRYP Hotel Brisbane, Abandoned Brisbane, Sarah Hazlehurst