The breadth and maturity of Ritz and Ghougassian’s portfolio impressed the jury, especially as the Melbourne-based practice was only established in late 2015. Co-directors Gilad Ritz and Jean-Paul Ghougassian’s refined, architecturally rigorous work is notable for its strong adherence to a set of shared design values and its avoidance of anything faddish or trendy, making them very deserving award recipients.
There’s consistency and originality across each project, regardless of typology, and each displays genuine innovation and sophistication. This is especially evident in two of the practice’s most recent projects, the highly polished Highbury Grove residence and Fitzroy’s stylish Bentwood cafe. Ritz and Ghougassian’s commitment to build upon the architects’ combined experience working at Hassell, Room 11 and Woods Bagot makes it a name to watch. The practice is already prodigious in delivering over fifteen projects and, as one jury member commented, what makes this young practice particularly refreshing in an age of social media is that its co-directors are “designing by principles not Pinterest.”
Ritz and Ghougassian was established in late November 2015 by architect Gilad Ritz, aged thirty-two, and interior designer Jean-Paul Ghougassian, aged thirty-one. After graduating with honours from Monash University with a Bachelor of Interior Architecture, Ghougassian cut his teeth at Hassell, working across both residential and commercial interior design. Ritz also spent his first few years as a graduate architect at one of Australia’s most revered studios, Woods Bagot, before moving across to Room 11. The studio has completed more than fifteen projects that range in size and complexity. The projects are diverse, ranging from hospitality to retail, workplace, residential and multiresidential architecture and interior design.
The Award for Emerging Interior Design Practice is supported by Space Furniture. The Australian Interior Design Awards are presented by the Design Institute of Australia and Artichoke magazine. For more images of this project, see the Australian Interior Design Awards gallery.
Published online: 25 May 2018
Images: Tom Blachford
Artichoke, June 2018