Star Hotel

Restaurants and Bars
Project Details
Echuca VIC
Janita Norman

Over some 15 years, we have progressively to transformed the function of these heritage-listed buildings, ensuring that they continue to provide utility to their owners and the community at large for years to come.

Janita Norman, Lead Building Designer & Qualified Heritage Designer

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The last major update to the Star Hotel saw it adapted from a cafe to a bar, with the addition of a heritage-accurate bar and new verandahs.

Located with the Port of Echuca Heritage Precinct, we had to protect the significance of not only the individual buildings and the site but also the interface within the precinct.

The addition of a new heritage-accurate verandah and outdoor restaurant seating increased the visual appeal and utility of the space.

Many restaurants and bars exist within properties of cultural significance and heritage registration. We are adept at balancing the commercial imperative of hospitality with the constraints of heritage protection.

Project Brief

The Star Hotel & the Permewan Wright Building operate as The Star Hotel, and over at least 15 years we have had a hand in evolving the commercial utility of these significant buildings.

Over the last several years we rolled out successive rounds of changes and improvements to the property:

  • Adapt the Star Hotel building from a café to a bar and restaurant – internal changes to the Star Hotel Building, creation of the bar and interior layout
  • Adapt the Permewan Wright Building from a retail space to a bar and restaurant
  • New Bar and interior layout of the Permewan Wright Building
  • New verandahs to the Permewan Wright Building
  • New building to link the Star Hotel & Permewan Wright Buildings

Designer’s Thoughts

These buildings are located within the Port of Echuca Heritage Precinct, requiring that we exercise care in the design of the works to protect the significance of not only the individual buildings and the site but also the interface within the precinct.

Both buildings have a Heritage listing, with the Star Hotel listed as locally significant, and the Permewan Wright building granted a higher level of significance as a building listed on the State Heritage Register.

While the works were designed to preserve the significance, we were required to work with both the local Council and Heritage Victoria to gain approvals for these extensive adaptive reuse renovations.


Through a strong understanding of heritage requirements, excellent relationships with local and state bodies, and a focus on achieving our client's goals, we were able to protect the Heritage values of the property while adapting the spaces to allow a viable restaurant and bar to operate with maximum efficiency.

“We created a look and feel that enhances the visitor experience within these significant heritage spaces.”
– Janita Norman, Qualified Heritage Designer

Linking the buildings together created an integrated space allowing the operation of the site as a single space and the addition of a verandah for an outdoor dining area has brought back a structure that was once lost within the streetscape.

Services Delivered

Research, design, heritage consultancy, project management, coordination of consultants, town planning permits, heritage permits, project documentation.