The 2 Girls Building is a mixed use building that fuses art, photography and architecture. The project explores the relationship between the three disciplines and blurs their respective boundaries resulting in one craft overlapping and appropriating with the characteristics of the others in the form of a new medium. As a result photography appropriates architectural materiality and photography shifts into the architectural space of the third dimension. Architecture becomes photography, photography becomes architecture and the building becomes a hybrid urban artefact within the built environment.
KUD collaborated with Melbourne Artist Samantha Everton during the design process to ensure a collaborative integration of art forms throughout the project. The “Masquerade”, from Everton’s ‘Vintage Dolls’ series, that features on the building façade, was specifically selected for its familiar vernacular in its subject matter which is synonymous with inner city traditional domestic spaces and more importantly, for the drama and theatre it provides to the public realm. The primary circulation space doubles as a de facto art gallery with art works on display, dividing the offices, warehouse spaces and residential apartments.
The collaboration injected another layer of complexity; unintentionally exchanging and swapping the roll of the architect to artist and the artist to architect. The boundaries of the alliance were blurred, redefining ‘the artist’ and ‘the architect’ as one expression. This synergy spawned a hybrid typology and ensured that the photo-archi-art prevailed.
Spectrum Apartments is situated on a site with three frontages. It was critical that the architecture address and activate all three frontages but also be of a single architectural language.
The project is expressed as strips of building mass to exemplify the diverse cultural context of Box Hill. The “strips” geometrically alternate over the floor plates to create highly articulated façades. The terminations of the “Strips” are expressed with brightly coloured fascia around the balconies, adding a vibrant presence to the public realm.
To increase the public amenity of the occupants of the apartment, the internal circulation areas are open to the sky, acting as a “lung” to the development. This “lung” would provide for additional daylighting and natural ventilation while allowing for vegetation to populate the open atrium.
Maling Road has a rich and eclectic mix of historic buildings and styles that provide a diverse pallet of textures and materials throughout the precinct. The building forms are essentially decorated geometric volumes that are divided into small groups that continue the character of the precinct, with each having the historical language, ornamentation and narrative of existing architectural examples found along the Maling Road strip. This language alludes to the prospect of ‘the past’ being Maling Road, and ‘the future’ being the proposed building. These historical building typologies are represented through ornamental treatments to the façade, but simultaneously create an additional contemporary layer that provides a dual architectural narrative of the past and future.
This project takes four main ideas from it’s physical and social context to create a layered outcome that responds in a positive way to the Melbourne social and cultural environments. Inspiration is drawn from the existing site and it’s current use as a popular temporary bar, the iconic lane-ways of the Melbourne CBD, the widespread graffiti art culture and of course inspiring china town area in which the site is located these four ideas are then layered together to create an interesting ground level facade approach that responds to and enhances these key Melbourne city attributes.
The 17 hectare ‘Hopkins Street Precinct’ is undergoing a major urban renewal process to make way for Melbourne’s growth and gentrification of obsolete industrial areas. The subject site is approximately 5000m² and sits within a 13,000m² master plan, which is to be staged in three separate phases. In addition, the site has the largest footprint in the overall precinct master plan. As a result of this anticipated growth, our client’s provided us with two basic principles for the brief which were to be expanded at a later stage. The first was that the proposal had to incorporate programs and facilities beyond residential inner city apartment dwellings. The second was that the first phase of the project had to exemplify design excellence with a very unique and contemporary architectural language that would create an international landmark building and form a visual gateway to the precinct. As part of formulating the brief with the client, our role was to research the demography and types of facilities and programs that would work best for this particular project. Our research data concluded that residents aged 24-38 was the target demographic for this a project. The brief also required us to design a building that would interact with the local context, engage transport facilities, and embrace views of the city, ocean and local Melbourne attractions. Our objective was to introduce typical residential programs in the suburban context and try to incorporate them into an urban tower typology. Health conscious and lifestyle orientated facilities where key priorities for the project. Our client instructed us to introduce programs and facilities that are unique to the area and would not be offered by competing projects within the precinct. Given the target age demographic and our key research findings, we concluded that we wanted to expand on the traditional typical fitness and entertainment facilities that are common to projects of this nature. The site footprint for stage 1 and 2 is roughly 100 × 100 meters which provided us with exact dimensions for an Olympic sized running track, which is incorporated along the perimeter of the stage 1 and 2 podium.
The architectural expression is divided into two categories; the podium and the tower. The podiums are expressed as a singular elements clad in vertical louvers that create a solid appearance when viewed on oblique angles, which in turn provides a strong base for the towers above. The expression of the louvers at street level create low-rise silhouette shapes that blur the between suburb and city in the Footscray area. The towers are designed as fluid planar shapes that respond to the surrounding ocean and river context. The smooth forms soften the building edges and provide a sense of movement to the towers when circulating around the precinct. In elevation the towers shift rhythmically as the mass rises to give a swaying effect that is common among all the towers and stages.