From the architect:
Located in a historic and tightly-held pocket of inner-city Melbourne, this townhouse development features six urban residences, as well as the transformation of a derelict Victorian heritage dwelling also located on the site. The development balances a heritage setting with contemporary sustainable design, redefining typical urban townhouse design to hero connection with the landscape and surrounds, and to feature intriguing details.
Marking a significant departure from conventional townhouse typology, each dwelling offers multi-functional and spacious living in an otherwise tightly built-up urban area. Boasting a combination of light-filled internal spaces gathered around multiple outdoor spaces and rooftop terrace with city skyline views, each townhouse has over 20 percent more outdoor space than a typical solution, with the six different outdoor spaces designed for various purposes.
The original brief was to make a positive impact on the neighbourhood by providing individual, luxury residences that sensitively respond to their surrounds. High-level ESD (environmentally sustainable design) principles and design for longevity were key drivers of the brief, with the aim to provide a new benchmark that exceeds the average NatHERS 6 star rating for townhouses.
A difficult site featuring an unusual battle-axe shape and heritage overlay, complete with a derelict heritage house requiring extensive renovation.
A design that would respond appropriately to its unique inner-city location and built-up surrounds. The highly contextual design reflects not only the former shoe factory opposite and industrial past, but pays homage to the iconic Victorian terrace row houses nearby.
The narrow laneway itself presented a challenging streetscape. Rather than being tucked away behind the heritage house at the front of the site, the design and scale of the development successfully sits within the street, its neighbouring buildings and wider surrounds.
Overcoming strict commercial parameters, the design adheres to the original brief for a sustainable development achieving an average 7 star NatHERS rating. In particular, reducing internal floor space makes way for an internal courtyard.
Sustainable features include the use of natural, recycled and sustainable materials, many of them with supply chain certifications, thermally broken windows with double glazing, extra insulation, solar hot water, rainwater tanks and many more.
Each townhouse has north facing orientation to draw in natural light throughout the homes, “thermal chimneys” to evacuate heat through summer, and cross ventilation for fresh air year-round. Passive design systems (when applied correctly) ensure that the same benefits they provide today last throughout the life of the building.
One of the ambitions for this project was to seamlessly integrate these sustainability measures into the high-level design so they don’t appear as superfluous ‘green’ add-ons. For example, the rainwater tanks have been elegantly designed into a raised planter bench seat within the internal courtyard of each residence, providing rainwater storage of 14,000 litres across the project (including the heritage dwelling).
- Aluminco P/L - High Performance Windows (Thermally broken aluminium frames with double glazing)
- Big Ass Fans: Haiku Bamboo Ceiling Fans (This and other fans were used to reduce the need for artificial cooling)
- Cedarsales - FSC-Certified timber western red cedar cladding (Improved Green Star rating with FSC, PEFCTM and GreenTag GreenRate Level A Certification)
- EC Group - 100% Pure NZ Wool Carpet (low VOC)
- Eco-Smart (Wignells) - Biofuel eco-smart fireplace
- Landscape Tanks - Concrete rainwater tanks with integrated planting
- Rinnai - Solar hot water system with gas booster
- Attila's Stone - Natural stones for kitchens and bathrooms
- Belle - Custom-made double-glazed skylights
- Bradford - Bradford Gold High Performance Batt wall insulation
- Boral - Certified timber spotted gum floor boards & decking boards (AFS Chain of Custody Certification)
- Cesarstone - Laundry bench tops (environmental commitment and indoor air certification)
- Dulux - Low VOC paint
- DuPont - Corian benchtop in bathrooms
- Fletcher Insulation - Insulboard and Pink Batts insulation
- Fujitsu - High efficiency ducted split system
- Miele - High efficiency kitchen appliances