Blanco bricks from Robertson's Building Products Pty Ltd have been used as the cornerstone of the townhouses’ design at the Newry Street Richmond development. A modern take on the classic Victorian terrace, the thoughtful design of the townhouses was led by Fieldwork director Quino Holland for Wulff Projects and Carta Group.

Located on the corner of Newry and Canterbury Streets, the 12 three-bedroom townhouses bask in an abundance of light and enjoy sweeping city and suburban views. Holland and his design team have taken the proportions of the classic two-storey Victorian terrace house, particularly the way it integrates with the street, including its little veranda space, and adapted it to today’s needs, in the process, improving the thermal performance and daylight amenity.

The townhouses have the bedrooms on the ground and first floors with the living spaces accommodated on the upper levels, where large sliding doors lead to sheltered terraces with spectacular neighbourhood views. The focus on outdoor living continues, with each townhouse having a generous rooftop area, accessed by dedicated external stairs where beautiful timber decks and built-in barbecues offer an inviting space to relax and enjoy city skyline views.

Instead of the traditional rear lane access seen in terrace homes, Fieldwork has designed walk-up townhouses. Unlocking the site to provide car spaces for each of the townhouses without having a rear laneway was a major challenge for the design team. The ingenious solution was a shared car park in the centre of the site, where a central driveway provides access to each garage. This not only made the street frontages as active as possible, but also consolidated what is a brilliant front façade into one.

Having decided that brick would be the principal material on the façade, Fieldwork looked for a white brick that would be suitable for the building’s very light colour palette. They wanted a brick with a consistent colour; the brick needed to have an integrated colour so that they didn’t have to paint it white. Blanco bricks from Robertson’s Building Products hit the mark.

For Wulff Projects, the choice of brick was critical. “The hero renders had the white brick façade front and centre. You don’t often see an artisan white brick used like this and we wanted the purchasers to realise the thought processes that went into every aspect of the development,” said Nick von Bibra, development manager.

“We worked pretty hard and were actively involved in looking at the depth of colour of the mortar joints. The bricklayer produced close to two dozen samples before we settled on a finish – it was a pretty involved process, which reaped rewards at the end of the day. The bricklayer’s workmanship was spot on. We wanted to make sure that all of the purchasers were getting what they expected, and we were really happy,” added Nick.

This brilliant white brick was then paired with striking timber batons along with precast concrete down the townhouses’ laneway and steel mesh screens supporting lush vegetation, all of which softened the façade and completed the external palette.

Given that the Newry Street Richmond townhouses were all sold off the plan, Wulff Projects couldn’t be happier with the end result.

“The bricks were the cornerstone of the development, it’s a wonderful brick façade, and from all reports the residents have all been exceedingly happy at settlement. It’s been so well received by the wider community as a whole, which is great to hear,” Nick concludes.

Photographer: Tatjana Plitt