Pace of Collingwood is a nine-level residential development in Collingwood, Victoria that has been designed by SJB Architects to respond to the materiality and heritage character of the largely industrial neighbourhood.

Anchored on the corner of Wellington, Cambridge and Langridge streets, the development consisting of 79 one, two and three bedroom apartments features a robust and bold brick inlay façade that makes a distinctive visual impact on the streetscape.

Pace of Collingwood fits seamlessly into the vibrant Collingwood context, appealing to a mixed demographic. In addition to retail spaces on the ground floor, the building also has a communal rooftop ‘pocket park’ on level seven for residents to relax and socialise in a landscaped park-like setting.

Given the building’s dominant street presence spanning across the entire block, it was important to select a material palette that wouldn’t create an overwhelming effect at the street level or shadow the opposite footpath.

However, SJB responded to this challenge by making a material choice that complemented the Collingwood context, bringing their vision for the apartments to life.

A strong brick podium grounds the building at street level, while a recessive mansard-style roofline clad in bronze metal tapers the building at the top, capping its height and allowing natural light and aspect into each apartment.

SJB associate Beaudene Fulwood explains, “We were trying to break down the building form so that it didn’t feel too overwhelming. That’s why we explored different materials – different coloured bricks, concrete and metalwork – finding ways to create almost three separate buildings on the one site.”

In a suburb that’s renowned for its beautiful and predominantly red brick textures across civic buildings, warehouses and industrial sites, it was easy to select the signature façade material.

SJB was clear about using brick predominantly on the building, as well as the brick colours. Brick tiles from Robertson’s Building Products in Rustic Red and Pressed Red colours were mixed with custom stone brick tiles in Brushed Grey, Flamed Grey and Soft Grey colours to add a layer of texture.

The two predominant brick podiums – one at either end of the building – also feature brick inlay from Robertson Façade Systems. “For this particular project, brick inlay was a high quality and effective way of realising brickwork, given the project’s multi-residential nature,” says Beaudene.

Along with brick, the development also features metal and concrete on the bold and distinctive façade. The three distinct materials work majestically together, breaking down the building into smaller components. The honed precast concrete panels provide a beautifully smooth surface to break up the building between the two brick halves, each vertical break along Langridge Street creating moments to transition between brick and concrete. The bronze metalwork with its shiny, smooth reflective surface and fine grain provides another counterpoint to the rustic roughness and solidity of brick tiles.

Pace Development Group is happy with the final outcome and has been able to secure a 100 per cent apartment sell rate on completion.

Images: Michael Gazolla