From the architect:
21 Victoria Street is a six level, mixed-use building on the western edge of the diverse suburb of Footscray, in the inner west of Melbourne, comprising street level commercial tenancies and 27 apartments. A communal terrace located on the roof provides sweeping views across central Footscray, the docks and the Melbourne CBD. The project has a robust contemporary presence that responds to the industrial heritage and diverse urban and cultural context of central Footscray.
The building conforms to the urban form guidelines within the planning scheme, comprising a three level street wall along Victoria Street and a five metre set-back for upper levels. A series of lightwells along the north and south boundaries bring light and ventilation into the centre of the building. The design anticipates future development along the north and south boundaries but has been conceived as a coherent, stand-alone building in the meantime with careful consideration of how the building is experienced ‘in the round.’ The facades are articulated with a hierarchy of materials – boundary walls are pre-cast concrete whilst facades set-back from the boundaries graduate in tone, from white on the west through greys on the north and south facades to charcoal on the east.
The design language for the project explores a free and irregular orthogonality. The primary street façade is defined by a brise soleil comprised of an irregular grid of aluminium fins. A selection of fins facing north are pink whilst a selection of fins facing south are light blue, resulting in a continuously changing experience of the façade depending on the specific viewing angle and a flickering effect as one moves past it. The pre-cast concrete facades are comprised of a staggered grid of flush and ribbed panels that provide articulation to otherwise blank facades.