A residential response to an industrial site
Category Large Residential Development | Project Abito Fitzroy, Victoria Street, Fitzroy | Architects Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, Melbourne
The site straddles three distinct areas: adjacent industrial-scaled buildings on large parcels, smaller terraces or townhouses across the street, and two- to four-storey mixed use buildings along Brunswick Street and Johnston Street. The variety in scale and land use, the proximity to retail and public transport, and the ongoing conversion of industrial buildings make this site a logical location for higher density residential development.
The variety of context presented design challenges in terms of negotiating between different scales and architectural types. The designer needed to penetrate through a deep site to allow light and air to reach all units. At the same time, the overall design needed to retain a unified and coherent image.
The building addresses the corner and transitions its height to meet its eastern neighbours. By directing vehicle access to the laneway, the street frontage is reserved for retail and residential entries. The continuous ground floor and the indented upper floors respond to the residential character across Victoria Street, while the flat treatment of the eastern façade responds to the adjacent industrial architecture. The variation in the exterior walls also permits access to light and air for internal rooms as well as upper level landscaped terraces.
Where the existing built environment is varied and evolving, a residential building can create a distinctive and unified image, even as it takes cues from its surroundings.