As is often the case for modern multi-residential developments of a similar scale, the Gipps Residences were designed with two key stakeholders in mind: the project developer, and prospective owners. The latter – as stipulated in the brief from the high-end Melbourne-based developer, CADRE – being well-travelled downsizers who appreciate enduring design while harbouring a desire for a low-maintenance, turn-key lifestyle. The resulting multi-residential form takes the classic vertical arrangement of the terrace house and articulates it with a high-brow, brutalist edge.
A heavy concrete base juxtaposed by lighter infill metal cladding anchors the three luxury townhouses within their urban context. Immaculately executed for affluent downsizers, the residences feature a rooftop plunge pool, brutalist bunker-style wine and cigar rooms, lifts, and expansive living spaces boasting panoramic city views.
From the polished concrete walls and ceilings to the custom steelwork of the staircases, quality is tastefully articulated in every aspect of the design. With full-height doors and expansive, four-metre-high ceilings, each of the three townhouses boast a grand sense of arrival that belies the preconceived downsides of ‘downsizing’.
The existing site of 244sqm contains an older single storey shop front in an unrenovated condition. A single cross over exists on the site with access from Gipps st. Site is to be cleared of all existing structure.
The site footprint is extruded to identify any potential sensitive interfaces with the proposal. With a double storey wall on boundary to the west, Gipps street to the south and Carrol st to the east, the only sensitive interface is the apartment block to the north.
Levels & Height
With a site fall greater than 2.5° a building height limit of 11.5m is set. The buildings form is then divided into three floors.
The building form is setback to the Northern apartment block by 1m on both the first and second floors. This creates a visual break between the two developments and allows the proposed to capture north light. The second floor then setback again at Gipps St to create a recessive upper volume to the streetscape. The height of the two lower floors to Gipps St are matched to the neighbouring brick warehouse’s parapet.
Articulation & Landscaping
The ground and first floor volumes are broken up further at TH1 and TH2 to provide a sense of address for each residence by introducing a vertical recess up the facade. This recess also provides landscaping opportunities which enable planting to run up the facade of the building. At TH3 a planter awning runs over the TH entrance and across the communal driveway entrance, allowing creepers to grow up the eastern facade of the building. Finally the ground floor corner to Gipps and Carroll is cut out for planting to softern this junction for pedestrians.
Materiality & Vehicle Access
The proposal is then finished with a combination of polished concrete, timber and metal cladding. The black framed glazing and concrete reference the industrial past of the area and provide a heavy base for the proposed planting to climb over. The carpark entry is proposed at Carroll St, removing a cross over from the congested area around the Gipps St and Lennox St roundabout.