Napier Street by Edition Office for Milieu
The design draws strongly from the language and materiality of Fitzroy’s historic working class building fabric, their relief patterns, the composition of windows and doors to the façade and the rhythm of party walls that line the streetscape.
Subtle details and materiality amplify the building’s honest character and feel. When encountered from the street, the building appears as a series of singular, raw concrete shells stacked, one upon the other, that offers a sense of enclosure and protection to residents.
Original wrought iron lacework on eaves and fences of the workers’ cottages have become galvanised balustrades and soffit embellishments to the exterior, providing visual interest and an appreciation of craft and architectural detailing on the most visually prominent surface of the project from ground level. The rolled concrete soffit edges and party wall corners are reflected as smooth fillets to help soften the materiality and mass of the project by allowing more light to roll through into the balconies and interiors.
A generous internal void provides a view of the sky at the end of a long 3.7 metre high entry hallway. This same void provides natural light and amenity to common areas at the heart of the project while the materiality of the space creates a sense of calm within a busy urban context.
Each apartment spins off this central common area and opens entirely to the street elevation. Full width glazing opening out to generous balconies extends the internal living spaces out beyond the site boundary, taking in the colours, materials and views of the site’s context.
The concrete construction of Napier Street effectively addresses thermal mass by reducing peak internal temperatures. Exposed concrete ceilings are a signature throughout living zones and main bedrooms and every apartment enjoys a dual aspect, allowing cross ventilation and passive cooling of the interior spaces.
Furniture: Marina Breit, Diana Miller, Modern times, Borge Mogensen for Fredericia Stolefabrik in Oak, Instyle Upholstery, Great Dane. Lighting: Anchor Ceramics, Euroluce, Aglo, Sphera. Finishes: Rockcote, Metroll, Lysaght, Viridian, Syndicate. Fittings & Fixtures: Smeg, Fisher & Paykel, Big Ass Fans, Vintec, Abbey, Pheonix, Kohler, Caroma.
Photography: Rory Gardiner.