The proposed development is conceived as a landmark gateway to the Victoria Street East Precinct. Incorporating numerous environmentally sensitive design and community integration features, this project will raise the standard for excellence in large scale inner city urban housing developments.
Our design response was inspired by the site and surrounding locality. Highly contextual, the design establishes a strong, physical relationship with the adjacent land and mediates between the different characters of the immediate environs. The design seeks to actively reinforce the Yarra River corridor rather than impose upon the landscape.
The overall effect is a very carefully considered and sensitive response to the built form immediately adjacent to the river corridor. Organic and fluid in nature, the embankment form is expressed by continuous terrace balustrades. In effect, the terraces become a continuation of the existing contours below the current crest line.
Two significant breaks exist in the terrace ribbons signifying the principle points of access through, or into, the site. These breaks also ensure that the presentation to the river is subtle and graded. In each case, the terrace ribbons return back into the site as if the form has been eroded by a tributary of the river.
The colour palate of subdued greens and timbers has been chosen to coexist with the existing vegetation. Apartment glazing is recessed under deep terraces adding depth to the expression and providing shade from the east and north sun.
Drawing on the very different nature of the site boundaries, the notion of a transition across the site was explored; from the grey urban environment to the green river’s edge. Our design seeks to magnify this experience and develops the idea that the architecture and landscape can function as an emulsifier between the fast, frenetic nature of Victoria Street and the calm, tranquil environment of the Yarra River.
Building on Abbotsford’s ongoing gentrification and responding to the city’s changing social, economic and environmental concerns, this is a vibrant, community-focussed development. The project invites engagement with the public through its new generous Yarra River pedestrian connection, integrated art strategy, sense of place and opportunities to work, dine and relax. Importantly, the project offers quality and diverse living spaces at an affordable price point.
A highlight of the development is a generously-proportioned pedestrian line between Victoria Street and the Yarra River trail. Publicly accessible 24/7 and functioning effectively as a street, it will provide a new major connection space, heavily landscaped with indigenous species, bringing the tranquillity of the river corridor up to Victoria Street.
While providing areas for the public and residents to meet, this pedestrian street is also the main point of access to each residential lobby. Cyclists will also be able to access the Yarra River trail via this street, using bicycle gutters to navigate stairs.