An apartment in the once notorious Gatwick Private Hotel has been shortlisted for one of Victoria’s top architecture awards.
From Melbourne’s tallest building, Australia 108, to the Puffing Billy Lakeside Visitor Centre, Centrepiece at Melbourne Park and the Victorian Pride Centre, some of the state’s best-known landmarks are among 125 projects in the running for the 2022 Victorian Architecture Awards.
But despite a high-profile overhaul by The Block in 2018, the Gatwick gong is being considered for a ground level apartment the show ignored and sold as an empty shell to Kosloff Architects directors Julian Kosloff and Stephanie Bullock for $1.71m in 2019.
Mr Kosloff said the Fitzroy St, St Kilda, hotel’s ground level had been left “like a colossal ruin” after The Block finished with the site’s upper levels.
Despite years of crimes as severe as murder and sad stories for the often struggling guests of the hotel before it was renovated, the architects “didn’t want to eradicate its past” and left the home as close to the way it was when they bought it as possible.
“And it’s been a really beautiful place to live,” Mr Kosloff said.
Australian Institute of Architects state manager Tim Leslie said the Gatwick, short-listed for an interior architecture award, and several other projects contesting this year’s awards showed places “filled with stories” could be renewed in a way that improved the area around them.
Mr Leslie said the awards celebrated architects as “agents of change” who worked to tap into the constant evolution of a city or area and to “change them for the better”.
Across the road from the Gatwick, the Victorian Pride Centre is short-listed for three categories including the sought-after Melbourne Prize, popular tourist spot Puffing Billy’s Lakeside Visitor Centre is pursuing two awards, and Centrepiece at Melbourne Park in the city’s pre-eminent sports precinct will contest the public architecture award.
Melbourne’s literal largest landmark, the 317m tall Australia 108 designed by Fender Katsalidis will contest the multiple housing award.
But it will go head-to-head with projects including an unusual Austin Maynard Architects apartment building in Brunswick described as “terrace houses stacked six high” that features an homage to a weatherboard house at its peak.
Other unusual projects shortlisted include a Keilor Police Hut which was recreated by Conservation Architecture.
But some high-profile sites have missed out, including Premier Tower which was famously designed based on the body of American songstress Beyonce.
Juries will visit short-listed projects in the coming weeks, with winners to be announced at an awards ceremony on June 17.
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