With the resources boom fuelling a thriving West Australia economy over the past decade, state capital Perth has been transforming itself into a vibrant hub for both residents and visitors. But while this is apparent in some impressive projects with a contemporary design aesthetic, the city has also set out to preserve buildings that reflect its history and heritage.
The latest example of this is the opening of a new five star hotel, Como The Treasury, in one of the city's most prominent civic precincts, where it sits alongside the new City of Perth Library, the 19th century architecture of St Georges Cathedral and a number of restaurants and specialist retailers.
The hotel itself is housed in a group of late 19th century, heritage-listed buildings, converted to their new use by Kerry Hill Architects. These include the imposing late Victorian General Post Office and the picturesque neo-renaissance Titles Building.
Terry Fripp, an associate at Kerry Hill Architects, says that initial planning studies with conservation architect Palassis Architects led to the decision to retain all the original government office rooms, and pair them via connecting doors so that each pair formed a guest room's bedroom and a bathroom.
"This saved the building from ad hoc internal division, and resulted in 48 handsome guest rooms, very few of which are alike," says Fripp.