Prince of Wales

(1998) “The Prince of Wales Hotel is a landmark St Kilda building which has been associated with a degree of raffish notoriety, not unlike the suburb itself. Rather than adopt a raze-and-rebuild policy, the owners and architect opted for a stepped approach in an escalating transformation of the hotel which would enrich its already colourful fabric.

The upper level entry, bar and restaurant spaces, dressed with lengths of fabric, gradually reveal a highly seductive and evocative interior. As the stages unfold, they become more refined in function, design and materials but always refer back to the original hotel. The Acland Street entrance offers a dramatic black glass canopy which links to the Art Deco black tiles uncovered on the pillars of the Fitzroy Street facade. Stairs, different levels and corridors reflect the warren of the original hotel.

This complicated and thoughtful project draws on a range of contemporary international references and ties them to the proud hotel heritage and its St Kilda locale. The hotel’s collage of uses displays a sensitive understanding of the local culture and environs.” RAIA Jury Verdict  -  Photographs by Trevor Mein