Afforded a unique island site in an industrially-styled part of Melbourne, Holme Apartments in Collingwood pays respect to the working class nature of the neighbourhood it finds itself entrenched within. Designed by John Wardle Architects, the apartment complex channels it’s locale — past and present, to form a building of robust materials fused with contemporary nous.
Collingwood’s postcode — atypically associated with industrial stylings — is transforming. An interplay between Victorian houses and modernist developments forms a suburb that is at the scene of contemporary change. Holme Apartments is no stranger to this interplay, with a curved brick facade from the 1920s retained by John Wardle that combines with new brickwork, creating a base that sits with conviction witnessed across the whole site.
The building’s cylindrical form is derived from the former Joe White Malting silos that was previously situated on a nearby street. Silos are synonymous with the east Melbourne skyline for decades, with the exterior of Holme Apartments a direct descendant of these cylindrical towers.
The curvaceous nature of the concrete edges and balconies look to sweep around the building. Unique to each apartment, no two curved edges are the same, giving each residence a distinct quality.
Communal spaces have not been skipped on by John Wardle, underlining a sense of connection. An outdoor terrace on the ninth level plays host to views of the city skyline. An outdoor fire pit, dining and lounge spaces compliment a communal kitchen and fireplace that is for residents and their guests to utilise. These spaces cover all bases as far as socialising is concerned, both casual and formal.
A neutral, minimalist palette and subdued material curation impart a contemporary aesthetic upon the building. Vigorous contemporary mainstays in brick, concrete, steel and glass are major players in shaping the character of the building.
Moving inside, spacious interiors and high quality finishes are viewed throughout. Many features of the facade are echoed inside, at varying scales and with different materials, such as the curved concrete columns on the ninth levels that are reminiscent of the timber joinery within the apartments.
John Wardle Architects have pulled together the various historical chapters of the local Collingwood neighbourhood and translated them into an apartment complex. Bringing together contemporary features and mid-20th century flourishes, the practice have created a set of apartments that by themselves are distinct and unique, but operate as one building.