Milieu – Fitzroy Nth Apartments

Fieldwork with Flack Studio

On a prominent corner site in North Fitzroy, this apartment building provides light-filled and breathable apartments across four levels. The project consists of 26 apartments of mixed sizes, with one, two and three bedrooms. Cloaked in a mesh veil of operable shutters and fixed screens, the translucent building form allows air and natural light to pass freely into the apartments, through to a central atrium. This open-air circulation space acts as a communal courtyard, lined with vertical planters around a sculptural stair, forming a social space for residents. The shift from a single-loaded apartment building to a wrap around a courtyard provides dual aspect for all apartments.

With the shutters closed, the building assumes a solid form by day that transforms into a glowing lantern at night. When open, the hinged shutters reveal the timber-clad balconies and activity within, bringing life to the dynamic facade, changing throughout the day and across the seasons. The upper form sits on a solid white brick podium, which opens to the site’s corner, an invitation and address to the street. The ground floor tenancy will house a café and grocer, an amenity for the residents and the wider neighborhood.

Sustainability has been considered in every aspect of the design, and includes the following measures: rainwater collection, solar electricity to service the communal spaces, operable shading screens, exposed concrete ceilings that improve thermal performance, cross-flow ventilation through the communal courtyard, and bike spaces for every apartment. Nth Fitzroy Apartments were designed with the residents needs at the forefront. The project seeks to challenge the current status quo of multi-residential architecture in Melbourne.

Photography: Rory Gardiner and Sean Fennessy.