Fitzroy apartment building blends refined interiors with robust concrete
Melbourne architects Edition Office have created a Fitzroy apartment building for local developer Milieu that is both elegant and robust
Edition Office’s latest project in Fitzroy, Melbourne, makes a bold contemporary statement. Designed by local architecture studio for developer Milieu, the Fitzroy apartment building contains 11 units, each with a distinct character and apartment interior design, arranged around visually dramatic common parts and shared spaces in pristine minimalist architecture.
Fitzroy apartment building at 231 Napier Street
The development, 231 Napier Street, is located right in the middle of Fitzroy’s downtown, a block from Town Hall, and surrounded by small businesses, restaurants, and stores.
The new seven-level structure replaced a low-rise commercial unit, and has a façade defined by generous balconies with slender vertical railings that bend over the distinctive curved edges.
These curves are a signature element of the design, cropping up through the interior and exterior space, without ever being overbearing or obvious. Instead, the building is contextualised with its surroundings through subtle visual connections with Fitzroy’s many historic structures.
‘We studied the materiality of Fitzroy’s historic buildings, their relief patterns, the composition of windows and doors to the façade, and the rhythm of party walls that line the streetscape,’ says Edition Office’s director Aaron Roberts.
The façade treatment gives the impression of a series of stacked ‘raw concrete shells’, giving each apartment a very distinctive and individual presence.
Existing mature trees provide privacy and help modulate the horizontal emphasis of the apartments.
After entering through the centrally placed door, one steps into an internal atrium that rises up through the heart of the building.
The finishes here are raw and industrial, with concrete floors, metal panels concealing ceiling ducting, and perforated metal balustrading ringing the circular holes that are punched through each floor plate.
The private apartments have a much more refined palette, pairing the exposed concrete ceilings with timber floors and bespoke kitchen units. The architects describe this as a ‘luxurious’ simplicity, with large sliding doors opening out onto the balconies to create an extension of the main living space.
The kitchen units feature bold splashes of colour, alongside natural stone worktops, and there are high-quality appliances throughout, as well as amenities such as wine fridges and walk-in closets.
231 Napier Street’s façade steps back as it rises, giving the upper two floors even larger terraces and spectacular views across the mostly low-rise cityscape of Fitzroy. There is also a lower-ground floor level, forming part of the split-level apartments at ground level.
Modest in scale, but meticulously detailed, the building combines craft with industrial finishes. §