News - Our Perspective

Projects revisited – Chevron Apartments

An old photograph from the 1940s

A major Melbourne institution, the Chevron Hotel, has now re-emerged as a vibrant building for the 21st century.

The Chevron Hotel has moved from a derelict building slated for demolition in 2006 to a vibrant and attractive precinct.

Built in 1934, it is one of the few pre-war buildings remaining in St Kilda Road.

The hotel has been part and parcel of Victoria’s history and people can see the fruits of its $160 million reawakening – a decade after its re-opening.

During its height, the hotel was prestigious and many international figures such as singer Frank Sinatra who stayed there while touring.

Actress Ava Gardner was another prominent guest in 1959 while filming On The Beach and it was even the home to the Logie Awards in 1962. It closed in 2001 as a popular night club.

In 2006, it was given a new lease of life when it was refurbished to become the Chevron Green Apartments designed by Peddle Thorp.

Design Director Peter Brook said the practice had always been pleased to be associated with the restoring of this icon and believed it was a model for future developments.

“Many options exist to simply knocking down buildings,” he said.

“We should be looking to reinvigorate what is there, instead of always putting up a new building and losing something great,” he said.

“Many buildings such as the Chevron have great beauty and style that can revitalised for the community.

He said the redevelopment of the iconic Chevron Hotel presented Peddle Thorp with an opportunity to bring this majestic landmark building into a new era.

“The development offers one and two bedroom boutique apartments some with courtyards or balconies, while the beautifully integrated adjacent Chevron Green offers one, two and three bedroom apartments plus a limited number of penthouses.

One of the key strengths of the development has been the gardens, designed by Eckersley Garden Architecture. The Chevron Apartments offer a welcoming transition from a busy commercial road into a densely canopied garden.

Structures are often softened with vegetation draped seductively along their hard lines emphasising the role that scale and height play within a landscape design.

This communal garden in Melbourne’s St Kilda Road is yet another incredible example of their excellent work.

In the current trend of apartment living and community spaces, it is consistently amazing how sterile and uninviting these spaces can be.  The Chevron Apartments however, offer a welcoming transition from a busy commercial road into a densely canopied garden.

This is one communal garden that truly has a private garden feel despite the numerous apartment balconies looking into the space.

The tree canopies assist greatly with this by breaking the line of sight with green textural movement also providing shelter from the summer sun. In winter the deciduous trees allow additional light to flood into the space.

The garden offers some textured surfaces in sandstone, pebbled seeded exposed aggregate and vertical stone clad curved stone walls.

These surfaces curve around the garden providing direction and flow also allowing for separate contemplative areas within the one communal space. 

All have aged beautifully over time adding to the unique character of the garden.

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