This is our third project on a leafy stretch of Fitzroy’s Napier Street, in a coveted neighbourhood pocket cupped by Gertrude, Smith and Brunswick Streets. The area’s historical architectural styles and present-day cultural charm have influenced Napier Street’s progressive design.
Edition Office, in their first collaboration with Milieu, have taken a thoughtfully experimental approach to the architecture. With respect to heritage, process and craft, Edition Office creates a unique interpretation of Fitzroy’s residential character, and celebrates both the past and the future of this quietly atmospheric golden triangle.
“We set out to speak to the memory and the history of Fitzroy, and to celebrate its elements with care, grace and respect. When encountered from the street, the building appears as a series of singular, raw concrete shells simply and unashamedly stacked, one upon the other.”
Kim Bridgland, Edition Office
Carefully sleeved within the building’s raw concrete shell is a more tender, pale timber, inner skin. This delicate timber
boundary embodies luxurious simplicity: a broad volume of natural light, full-width views and breezes flowing front-toback, side-to-side.
Inspiration was drawn from traditional renovations of worker’s cottages and terrace houses: removing internal walls and rooms maximises space between the boundary walls, allows for more light and air, and strengthens the interior’s connection to the outdoors.
Characterised by a muted palette with splashes of material intensity, this central body houses space for solitude and quiet contemplation.
The Golden Triangle
Photography by Gavin Green
Napier Street is connected to culture and commerce, in close proximity to vibrant retail, hospitality and the CBD. But step off the busy streets, into Fitzroy’s peaceful pocket, and time starts to slow. Napier Street is a place for reflection and regeneration. Local photographer Gavin Green captured the street’s sense of quiet on an early morning stroll.
Handmade v. Hyper-machined
Model-making with Edition Office
In their reverential approach to the craft and assembly of buildings, Edition Office strips back embellishment and foregrounds raw, textural elements. The result is ultimately found in the built form, but first, materiality and the way the building will feel is explored in the integral stage of model-making.
Their process marries the hand-made aspect of architecture with precise, hyper-machined methods. The outcome is a sculptural object that expresses the key elements of Napier Street’s form: a hard concrete outer shell, a softer timber inner skin and a central volume enriched with stone.
Based in Melbourne, Edition Office are lauded for their creative rigour and intuitive approach to architecture and design. Led by Kim Bridgland and Aaron Roberts, the studio consistently experiments with materiality and formto achieve unique and highly contemporary buildings, with emphasis placed on the relationship between the occupier and the environment.
For more on Edition Office and their practice please read their Melbourne Milieu interview.
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