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    Split personality: new Fender Katsalidis building features two very different facades

    Geraldine Chua

    Most buildings strive to present one theme with its façade, but Fender Katsalidis Architects’ new residential project has chosen to tell two different stories with two different facades.

    Located on Flinders Street in Melbourne’s CBD, 108 Flinders’ main profile (the one facing Flinders Street) is inspired by the steel character of the tram and rail lines it faces. Employing a mosaic of coloured glass set within stainless steel super frames, this façade captures light throughout the day and creates an interesting scale to the building.

    The rear façade, on the other end, responds to the grainy richness of ACDC Lane with an active art wall created by Australian graphic artist, Garry Emery. Overlooking the narrow laneway and welcoming the addition of a new one hat Peruvian grill restaurant, this façade can be individually operated by residents to create privacy screens, allowing it to become a constantly activated large scale art piece.

    Rear facade

    “Our practice enjoys, wherever possible, to create an architecture that contributes to the richness of our city through the thoughtful integration of art into the building fabric,” explains Karl Fender, Principal at Fender Katsalidis.

    “108 Flinders is a sculpture in its own right, which embraces the diverse fabric of our city through its precinctual responses.”

    Flinders Street facade

    The use of art is also evident within 108 Flinders. In the main lobby, where heritage elements of the original building are celebrated, a bronze sculptural piece created by Pasquale Marinelli in 1968 has been repurposed as an art feature.

    An 18 metre private oasis at the heart of the building which opens to the sky also features a large wall mural depicting a surreal garden by Emery Studio.

    A modern interpretation of the Garden of Eden, this internal courtyard space was designed to improve amenity for residents living across the two connected towers. It is further enriched by a waterpond skylight to the level below, and an upside-down tree sculpture suspended improbably throughout the space above.

    In addition to this internal courtyard is a rooftop terrace on level 12, which offers views over the MCG, Federation Square and beyond to the bay. Other communal facilities include a private gym and residents lounge.

    Within the apartments, views, natural light and quality fixtures and finishes are prioritised. Marble accents can be seen around doorframes, while custom joinery and timber panelling add warmth and texture.

    Kitchens feature Miele appliances, stone bench tops and mirrored splashbacks, and bathrooms are fitted with Apaiser bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling tiles and Grohe tapware. All external windows are double glazed for solar and noise reduction.

    Premium penthouse residences on levels 11 and 12 feature reconstituted stone bench tops, timber floors, Gaggenau kitchen appliances, integrated Liebher fridge and wine fridge and Gessi Italian tapware. Light wells are positioned between the main bedroom and living spaces to create a mini garden retreat within the home.

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