MELBOURNE – Over the past decade, the district north of the main city has turned on its head, making way for trendy lifestyles and modern design. In recent years, the traditional Victorian terraces have undergone major renovation and, by 2011 (the date of the most recent census), nearly 60 per cent of private dwellings were flats and apartments. Woods Bagot contributes to the shift in living style with the firm’s design for the Assembly Apartments – a complex of 138 individual units – which matches the needs of the young professional market where nearly half its residents are aged between 20 and 34.
‘The starting point for the project came from the many saw-tooth roofed factory buildings in the district,’ explains the architect. True enough, there are ample buildings still standing that nod to the area’s industrial history and the selection of metals and zinc for the exterior cladding brings a ‘contemporary edge’ to the warehouse-inspired aesthetic.
The complex is split into four distinguishable blocks which centre around an open courtyard like a miniature neighbourhood surrounded by the city. Passageways between the volumes provide access, maximize the views and increase the amount of sunlight penetrating the interior.
‘Dividing the built mass into four smaller volumes enabled the team to create a more human-scale environment focused on community,’ the firm considers. ‘The design encourages intimacy and privacy, as well as good cross-ventilation and abundant natural light – elements often ignored in multi-residential developments.’
Elevation – Courtney Street
Elevation – West