Sitting atop the iconic 110-year-old Edwardian Panama House building, Neometro has unveiled its first heritage redevelopment in the heart of Fitzroy – 231 Smith Street.
Located on the corner of Moor Street, the 500 square metre development is Fitzroy’s first major air space build and adds three new set-back levels to the building originally constructed in 1903.
Its completion at the end of November marks the return of the historic structure to its former glory, a process that started in 2003 when Neometro purchased the site recognising its potential.
Neometro director Jeff Provan said the building’s redevelopment in collaboration with MA Architects and Grant Amon Architects was a lesson in subtlety and aimed to meld the historic and new in a thoughtful manner.
“This is our first heritage redevelopment and required a very considered approach to balance the heritage and integrate the modern design Neometro is so passionate about. We’re very proud of the outcome and believe the building will add to Fitzroy’s architectural appeal for decades to come,” he said.
The building now comprises 15 one and two-bedroom warehouse-style apartments with a distinct New York loft feel, as well as the refurbished commercial spaces, home to dining hotspot the Panama Dining Room and other local businesses.
Clad in a rolled-over metal roof, the development’s raking frame tapers from the base to rise seamlessly above the historic façade, which includes reconstruction of the building’s parapet in a manner sympathetic to the original design.
On the third level this parapet wraps around the lower apartments’ large outdoor living spaces, acting as a cocoon that provides a sense of escape from the bustle of the street below.
Five apartments feature on each of the three residential levels and range from 36 square metres to 65 square metres, all showcasing Neometro’s attention to detail and commitment to creating strong design.
Photographer: Derek Swalwell