260 Little Collins Street

In the heart of the Melbourne CBD, sought after for its prime location at the corner of Swanston Street, lies 260 Little Collins, a nine-story block of modern residential apartments encased in a beautifully preserved art deco building.

Constructed in 1919, the building lends its history to former clothing retailer Cann’s.

Whilst the exterior had worn well overtime, the residents felt the building had begun to show its age.

Besides from the obvious cosmetic upgrades needed, the overall security of the buildings foyer and fire-access were becoming a problem.

So they commissioned Shelley Roberts Architects to design the works.

Aligning the design with the realities of working with an aging building, then mirroring that, floor to floor, was a process.

The success of this design hinged upon simplicity and perfect functionality.

The foyer is a beautiful embodiment of both.

It’s chic, but not smug.

The client for this project was the Body Corporate, represented by a committee of apartment owners.

Members of the Body Corporate committee made varying contributions to the overall aesthetic direction, but all agreed on the key project objectives:

  • increased security of building access
  • upgraded fire and emergency systems
  • a more functional entry and foyer

The key material, used extensively on the facade and interior foyer walls, was the unique marble that was selected and sourced after extensive supplier research.

The main project challenge was reaching consensus with the large group of people who collectively represented the Body Corporate client.

Understandably, each had their ideas, opinions, priorities, and hopes for the project outcome.

But they all held a vested interest in managing a shared budget and a mutual investment on behalf of the Body Corporate members.

Shelley Roberts Architects recognised that managing stakeholder expectations was an important element of the project’s success.

Bottom line?

Everyone was happy with the end result and all alterations functioned as intended.

Project Details

Project size – 264 m2
Site area – 171 m2
Completion date – 2013
Building levels – 1

Project Team


Shelley Roberts Architects

Shelley Roberts Architects is a boutique architectural firm, specializing in apartment renovations.

Working at the intersection of architecture and interior design, they redefine and re-fashion inner urban spaces to create beautiful, functional homes.



Nicole England

Nicole has been exploring the built form, and the way spaces are used in her career, for almost 10 years.

She captures on film what is often ignored by other photographers, details that embellish each frame.

Nicole is also acutely aware of placing the viewer in a space, making them feel as though they’re exploring each room rather than being outsiders.


Photo Gallery

Click on a thumbnail image to enlarge.

Design © 2020 Shelley Roberts Architects. All Rights Reserved.| Images © 2020 Nicole England. All Rights Reserved.

Get the Builtworks Letter

In every edition of the Builtworks Letter, you’ll get the behind-the-scenes backstory as to how buildings are designed, built, and brought to life.

You’ll hear compelling stories, learn surprising ideas, meet engaging characters, and discover unique voices.