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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, April 20) – A local architectural firm in Fiji, Yellow Architects, has been chosen for the redevelopment of the former Grand Pacific Hotel.

Grand Pacific Hotel Ltd chairman Himmat Lodhia yesterday announced that Yellow Architects, formerly known as ASA Naidu Architects, were appointed as the architect and lead consultant for the soon-to-be redeveloped 120-room hotel.

Grand Pacific Hotel is now known as Crowne Plaza Grand Pacific Suva.

In making the announcement, Lodhia said the design competition had been very competitive and reflected the various options available for the new hotel.

"The Grand Pacific Hotel Ltd board met last week, reviewed design schemes of two firms on the final short list and selected Yellow Architects," said Lodhia.

Grand Pacific Hotel Ltd is a joint venture between Fiji National Provident Fund Investments Ltd and Fiji Investment Corporation Ltd.

The design competition was held in January where several architectural firms made presentations to a selection panel, the Grand Pacific Hotel Ltd Board and members of both Fiji National Provident Fund and Fiji Investment Corporation boards.

Two firms, Yellow Architects and DBI Design, an Australian Gold Coast-based architectural firm, were short listed from the presentations.

Other members of the consultancy team include HLK Jacob, Irwin Alsop Pacific Ltd, and Williams and Associates.

Arrow International Ltd will manage the project for Grand Pacific Hotel Ltd. A launch of the project and design is expected soon where the actual concept will be displayed.

"I believe that a prominent feature in this design is the strong emphasis projecting the old pavilion," Lodhia said.

"We must remember that this hotel is extremely special to Suva and Fiji and has a strong history behind it. The pavilion is what people will always remember it for."

The next phase for the project will entail more detailed working drawings after which tenders will be called for actual construction.

Construction is expected to commence before the end of the year.

The building is currently listed under the country's National Trust Asset list.

During its operational years, it housed prominent people like Queen Elizabeth II and other high-ranking dignitaries.

The new hotel will be managed by the Intercontinental Hotels Group under their Crowne Plaza brand.

Intercontinental Hotels Group also manages the neighboring Holiday Inn, which is owned by Fiji National Provident Fund Hotel Resorts Ltd, a Fiji National Provident Fund- owned subsidiary.

Fiji Association of Architects president John Orton said the appointment was welcomed, as it was good that Fiji National Provident Fund was using local companies for large projects such as Grand Pacific Hotel.

"It stands to reason that Fiji National Provident Fund and Fiji Investment Corporation must feel confident in the ability of local firms to do that sort of work if they are to invite them to compete," Orton said.

April 21, 2006

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