Meticulously renovated Victorian ‘State Buildings’ in Perth home to new Como The Treasury

by Jane Kitchen | 14 Dec 2015

Como Hotels & Resorts has recently opened Como The Treasury – its fifth city property – in Perth, Australia. The hotel occupies a group of late Victorian stone and brick buildings – known locally as the ‘State Buildings’ – that have played an important role in the city’s history for the past 140 years, serving variously as a post office, land titles office and treasury, and also once home to Perth’s original seat of government.

Kerry Hill Architects has overseen a meticulous AUD$110m (US$79m, €72m, £52m) restoration project that encompasses not only the entire Cathedral Square redevelopment on Cathedral Avenue, but also the interior and exterior of the new Como The Treasury.

Como Shambhala Urban Escape Perth – the spa at The Treasury – has four treatment rooms, including one double, as well as a 20m heated indoor pool, gym and yoga studio. The spa offers holistic treatments including massages, body scrubs and wraps and facials using its own branded range of aromatherapy, bodycare and haircare products, as well as Sodashi and Nvey Eco.

Focused on wellbeing for both hotel guests and Perth residents, Como Shambhala Urban Escape Perth is finished with rich tones of dark wood and travertine, with softly-lit bronze ceilings. The original steel shutters and bars on the windows are dramatic, and with a sophisticated lighting scheme, give the sense of a retreat.

The hotel occupies three historic buildings – now interconnected – with its 48 rooms spread over four floors. The architecture includes columns and bold, cantilevered balconies designed in flamboyant neo-Renaissance style.

Hill’s restoration project has returned 95 per cent of the buildings to their 19th century origins, including the re-installation of dormer windows and Victorian roofs finished with copper trimmings. More than 60,000 slate tiles were imported from a quarry in North Wales for the roofs.

However, where there was no heritage to follow, the architects have been “confidently modern,” introducing materials such as steel frames and glass.

Hill has also retained the interior’s grandeur, with the 19th-century feel dominated by the original postal hall. A mix of subtle colours, bespoke furniture and hand-knotted rugs create a contemporary energy, combining tradition and modernity.

“Heritage is the art of saving what is useful and beautiful, but also updating it for modern use,” said Terry Frip, an associate at Kerry Hill Architects.

The hotel’s bedrooms are each different, with spaces dictated by the building’s bones. Decorated in a cocooning palette of beiges, whites and grey-greens reminiscent of colours found in the West Australian landscape, the rooms feature limed oak furniture, pale travertine and bronze and leather trims.

The Cathedral Square precinct will also feature a new library, which contrasts with Perth Cathedral's late 19th-century architecture, as well as an enoteca, a craft beer bar, a barber shop, a chocolatier and a number of restaurants.

Como Hotels & Resorts has recently opened Como The Treasury – its fifth city property – in Perth, Australia. The hotel occupies a group of late Victorian stone and brick buildings – known locally as the ‘State Buildings’ – that have played an important role in the city’s history for the past 140 years, serving variously as a post office, land titles office and treasury, and also once home to
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The hotel occupies a group of late Victorian stone and brick buildings – known locally as the ‘State Buildings’ – that have played an important role in the city’s history for the past 140 years / Como Hotels
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