Back in 2010 Kerstin Thompson Architects were commissioned to undertake a feasibility for Kerr Street - unusually the brief was very open, no particular yield to target, much less prescriptive standards to follow. Rather the client’s ambitions were to provide high levels of amenity and a European sensibility. So they proposed a slim perimeter block around a generous central courtyard reminiscent of Italian housing models that contain a private inner world behind a strong street frontage.
The final development consists of 51 dwellings (43 apartments and 8 townhouses), car and bike spaces, a large landscaped courtyard and communal garden terrace with views across the city. The existing two-storey heritage building was converted into double storey townhouses along the street frontages, retaining the industrial history. Above this distinctive red brick base sit three new wings, up to 6 additional storeys, separated by open corner circulation stairs that take in views over Fitzroy. The west and east facing wings are metal clad with openings comparable in scale to those of adjacent industrial buildings while the south west corner wing reinforces the site’s distinctive brick corner character with a new layer of brick subtly distinguished from the original through colour and detail.
Once the project had been completed KTA asked us if we would work with them to create the sense of home by placing furniture and decorative lighting, allowing future residents to imagine how they might live in the spaces created.
2023 AIA Victorian Chapter Awards, The Best Overend Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing, Named Award
2023 AIA National Awards, Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing Shortlist