Cera Stribley (architecture) with The Stella Collective (interior design)
Designed in a way that is a stylised re-inventive take on the local Elwood architectural vernacular of the 1920s, this contemporary set of townhouses (located in Elwood, Melbourne) is small enough to project a sense of privacy and the feeling of standalone homes with individual private entrances. Each home is planned to be as spacious as possible with openings at each end to allow cross ventilation and views from one end of the townhouse to the other.
The main design challenge was to create the sense of a single, private dwelling in a multi-residential context. It was important that each townhouse had a strong sense of identity and singularity. Individual entrances were key to overcoming this challenge. To ensure adequate privacy from inside each townhouse, white perforated folding screens tie into the architecture and its white bricks. Internally, this created additional interest, with the shadows of diffused light through the patterned perforated screens. The series of custom features appointed throughout also instilled the project with a very personal, considered feel.
Sustainability was a key focus for the design team from the outset. As a result of the measures undertaken, the development achieved an average 6.5-star NatHERS rating with no townhouse achieving below 5 stars. Some of the measures include cross-ventilated living and bedroom areas, motion-controlled external lighting, LED artificial lighting, water-efficient fixtures, high-performance thermal envelopes and high-efficiency HVAC and lighting systems. A 7,000-litre rainwater tank is connected to all townhouse toilets and landscape irrigation.
A deliberate process of investigation and research from the very beginning of the project has fostered a deep understanding of the nature of the neighbourhood and thus what the right and appropriate architectural and interior design response is. The result building that takes inspiration from historical architecture but doesn’t belong to any particular movement or timeframe.
Fittings & Fixtures: Artedomus, custom (The Stella Collective), In-Teria, United Products.
Photography: Emily Bartlett Photography (architecture), Maegan Brown (interiors)