RITZ&GHOUGASSIAN established their architecture and interior design practice in 2015. Located in Melbourne, they focus primarily on the user experience and ones relationship to the built environment through an interiorised lens. Working across both public and private sectors a collaborative process ensures their work is considered and resolved.
Can you please select your 10 favourite products from the JRF range?
Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and your firm RITZ&GHOUGASSIAN?
We see architecture and interior design through an interiorised lens. Therefore we focus a great amount of attention on the habitation of space.
How did the two of you meet and what drove you to open your own studio?
A single project that never went ahead forged RITZ&GHOUGASSIAN.
We met through a mutual friend and found we shared a common understanding in art, architecture and design.
As a young studio, what have been the biggest challenges and your greatest achievements?
The biggest challenge is always doing something for the first time. Not because we lack the ability but because we rely on the client’s trust and confidence in our ability.
Congratulations for your incredible work on Prior. I feel like I saw this project on every design publication for a moment there – amazing to see it get the recognition it deserves. We are so proud that we have our collaboration with Ross Didier, The Gunzel range in there. What was the brief for this project from the client?
Thank you. The brief for Prior was to provide a clean warm environment, the client loved our use of brickwork and concrete on other projects and wanted this sense of materiality instilled into the fabric of Prior. The project was an empty shell with a small portion of services laid out already and we worked within this framework.
Prior Cafe, Thornbury by RITZ&GHOUGASSIAN featuring our Gunzel Chair and Gunzel Stool by rD by Ross Didier.
It is great to see you supporting a fellow Australian designer, did this play a role in specifying our range on this project?
Yes, we feel there is a common understanding about space amongst Australian designers —an Australian approach to design if you will, this intrinsic relationship whilst not obvious plays an important role in the overall design of a space.
What are your non-negotiable when choosing furniture for hospitality venues aside from the aesthetic?
Authentic — ie, not a ‘copy’!
What was your biggest lesson from 2020?
That’s a hard question. I think 2020 showed everyone the importance of community.
What’s next for you in 2021?
Our apartment project, MCKN and an eatery called Juno which is due to be completed this year. Located in McKinnon, Juno is situated underneath our multi-residential apartment complex, is owned by the same minds behind our latest collaboration, Prior. The eatery has a strong agrarian, paddock to plate focus, it speaks to the locality of McKinnon using materiality such as fibre glass, timber and granite cobble floors.
Now for some quick fire questions for you both:
What is the first international city you will travel to post pandemic? and why?
Gil — I just got back from the NT, I am keen to keep travelling inside of Australia. I have really begun to see the beauty of travelling within Australia again – places like WA, Tasmania and the NT have completely different landscapes and each hold something unique.
JP — Tokyo – I’ve never been however I’ve studied a lot of Japanese architecture, in particular Tadao Ando. It’s the kind of architecture that really inspires me. The food culture there is something that really interests me as well.
What is the most treasured piece of furniture you own?
Gil — Marenco sofas.
JP — Travertine coffee table from my parents.
Local & International, who are your design icons? and why?
Gil & JP
Local: Sean Godsell and Glen Murcutt
Speaking from a studio standpoint, we collectively like their work is because its contextual, it deals with the Australian landscape and the details and tectonics of architecture. They are thought leaders within the industry. Their work is thoughtful, poetic and speak to a reductionist style that we like to bring into our studio as well.
International: Pawson / Chipperfield / Zumthor
Most memorable dining experience?
Gil — A restaurant call Rosetta in Mexico City
JP — Izakaya Den:
I went some time ago and it was the first dining experience (at the time) that really touched all of the senses. The space is anchored by a large bar that sits within the middle of the space and gives you a chance to really interact how the chefs cook and prepare food. The ambience is dark and moody and really sets the tone.
Prior Cafe, Thornbury by RITZ&GHOUGASSIAN featuring our Gunzel Stool by rD by Ross Didier.
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