No doubt that the Gatwick Private Hotel in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda is one of the most memorable Block buildings of all time. Clouded with controversy around the ethics of gentrifying a boarding house, the impact on local vulnerable communities and the colourful history of the building all made for a big public discussion.
But one of the most overlooked aspects of the project were the two apartments on the ground floor of the Gatwick. In 2019, former Block contestant and agent Jesse Raeburn sold the apartments in a joint deal to an architects who took on the project as their own.
Purchased by Julian Kosloff and Stephanie Bullock of Kosloff Architects, the renovation has to be seen to be believed. One of the most striking elements is how they blend the sleek contemporary aesthetic with the original features of the building – with original subway tiles, brickwork, rendered finishes and art-deco wall panelling blending with the new additions.
The project is shortlisted at the Australian Interior Design Awards – winning praise from judges on how the design deals with the complex history of the building and supports different modes of occupation throughout the year.
Speaking with The Local Project, Julian and Stephanie explained that they merely saw themselves as ‘custodians’ of the property in this given time, meaning that their design approach was in creating an aesthetic that appeared to have the ‘least intervention’ on their behalf.
You can read the full interview with The Local Project here.
Photography: Derek Swalwell