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THE STATION HOTEL
ather than ubiquitous tilt-slab box, the development
features Viridian’s seraphic glass – made graphic
by a microscopic view of human bone – to help
sell the story behind its human scale and aspirations.
New pavement level retail and super convenient location
are among the selling points for this high visual impact
project destined to become home to a booming Gen X
and Y market.
Rather than the lifeless and applied, the seraphic glazing
is instrumental in reinvigorating a once bustling pub as a
Peter Hyatt spoke with project architect and director
Robert Ficarra of IMA about the rise of an apartment
complex with a bold difference:
How difficult is it to work with the fabric
of such an old structure?
Whenever a project involves a heritage building one
of our design struggles is to try and achieve a balance
between “respectful fabric” of the old building and
introduction of the new.
What about the cost of tip-toeing around old bones
rather than working with a clean slate?
There’s that economic balance to maintain and preserve
old structures when building adjacent to, or building
into them. And to deal with heritage controls where any
proposed building is considered to enable the existing
building to stand-alone and remain legible.
Any other constraints?
It is in quite close proximity to the Prahran Town Hall and
the old clock-tower. These elements really influenced the
need to respect sightline vistas and the heritage fabric.
How quickly did the solution of the patterned glass
Once those design constraints came into play, the
building envelope evolved quite quickly. The design
has two flanking components of similar height and scale
as the hotel to the streetscapes. Beyond and behind that,
is the large glazed facade of the “new” that would
contrast and compliment the masonry fabric of the hotel,
a program that really delivers a contemporary presence.