Fitzroy’s vitality is unquestionable: Melbourne’s first recognised suburb has historically been home to industry and working class dwellings. More recently it has become the hub of Melbourne’s bohemian cafe culture, art and design. What better place to relocate an architectural practice and combine it with somewhere to live.
When two properties became available together, one offering studio space, the other living accommodation, it was hard to pass up both opportunities to apply ones own ‘stamp’.
The apartment was increased in size and extensively renovated, a steel and recycled timber ‘veil’ was applied to the principle north facing facade to temper the access of natural light. The studio space was tailored to suit the needs of our practice.
Whilst the apartment was well presented and modern in feel when purchased, it lacked a certain dynamic that would provide the stimulation we strive for in our own residential work. What originally worked was left, what needed to be improved, extended, opened up and finessed was worked to the point where every opportunity offered by this unique building has been thoroughly exploited.
The open plan has been extended by reclaiming an existing external court, replacing it a level above with a new terrace facing the city skyline. Internally new vertical atrium spaces extending throughout two floors offer interconnectivity between living spaces on both levels.
The material palette is raw and restrained, consistent with the modernity of the warehouse. The introduction of ‘the new’ takes into account its presence in its eclectic built surrounds, expressive yet not overpowering, polite yet confidentially assertive.