05 May 21

Anything but Standard

Some say it’s the hottest, others call it the coolest—the hotel group that has become known as the place to party for those in the know will operate a new Woods Bagot-designed hotel in Melbourne’s Fitzroy.

The Standard International hotel group was founded in 1999 by famous hotelier André Balazs (his other properties include Chiltern Firehouse, Chateau Marmont and The Mercer) and is now run by CEO Amar Lalvani who is spearheading the exciting new launches for the hotel group.

“The Fitzroy neighborhood in Melbourne represents exciting new territory for The Standard but at the same time feels totally familiar,” said Lalvani.

Woods Bagot’s client, DealCorp, is behind bringing the iconic Standard brand to Australian shores with interiors by Hecker Guthrie.

“DealCorp’s commitment to making long-lasting contributions to its community is aligned with our own history of enhancing the neighborhoods we become part of,” Lalvani continued.

When it comes to cool neighbourhoods, Fitzroy is one of Mebourne’s coolest (or is that hottest?). Originally a classy escape for Victorian-era Victorians, the advent of the railways and economic shifts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the wealthy move out, and factories, the impoverished and criminality move in. It became the kind of place many people avoided, until a cycle of gentrification in the 1980s and 1990s reestablished its desirability. Its rich history of settlement by wave after wave of migrants – plus its history as the heart of Melbourne’s Aboriginal activism – is a history of cultures mixing and mingling.

Principal and regional design leader (AUNZ) Peter Miglis recalls Fitzroy’s chequered history having earned it a special place in the archives and iconography of Melbourne’s urban life.

“In designing this hotel, we designed it to be local—to continue the architectural traditions of Fitzroy and sustain the neighbourhood’s artistic and cultural spirit.

“As a brand, Standard hotels are culturally and geographically relevant. That’s what you’ll see in Rose Street – not one design approach but a range of considered approaches that align with Fitzroy’s eclectic architecture, drawing on simplicity and refined industrialism,” Miglis said.

There is a rawness to Fitzroy that stems from its rich multilingual heritage of hardship and glory. The workers and craftspeople who occupy the area have influenced its architecture and built form for nearly two centuries—the people and their influence were where the project team began its design journey.

Fitzroy’s history of corner pubs, workers cottages, grand housing and industry inspired Woods Bagot’s approach to the building’s façades. Weathered steel and concrete are robust, timeless materials that sit comfortably straight away and, over time, will add charm as they patina.

The Standard, Melbourne will join The Standard’s growing portfolio of hotels, which include the award winning The Standard, London and The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives both of which last year joined The Standard hotels in New York, Los Angeles and Miami.