How 750kg marble blocks shaped new Quay West lobby

The new Quay West hotel lobby at The Rocks in Sydney.

Ordering high-end marble from Italy – with a three-month wait for delivery – is something normally associated with luxury residential builds or upmarket renovations.

But when Sydney’s Quay West hotel at The Rocks revamped its lobby late last year, huge slabs of Italian marble were at the top of the shopping list.

However, ordering the expensive stone and surrounding veneer panelling from halfway around the world was only the beginning of a complex and challenging process to have the high-end material featured prominently as guests enter the building.

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In fact, shipping pieces of marble weighing between 300kg and 750kg all the way from Europe might have been the easy part.

Quay West hotel The Rocks Sydney

Each piece of marble weighs between 300kg and 750kg.

The final step in the process – the marble’s installation within the building itself – was a major challenge for project manager Schiavello Construction, with no few than six labourers, a site manager and a manual hydraulic lift required to manoeuvre each slab of marble into place.

Incredibly, the hotel remained operational with no disruption to the floors above during the lobby revamp, with business able to continue as usual while the renovation was completed.

The new Quay West lobby was designed by Sydney interior designers Greg Natale.

The new Quay West hotel lobby at The Rocks in Sydney.