A generation passes along traditions and knowledge, as well as architectural legacy. People moving forward with more than they had is as important as how much they leave behind for the coming ones. Over a while humans tend to create attachments with the space they live in. The word HOME has an emotional edge when described. In olden times and few today also, People are fond of preserving and enhancing their family homes. Architecture not only provides a space or amazes one’s mind, but it does form an emotional bond with the user in a frame of time. The initiative taken here by Woods Bagot is an excellent example of respecting and nurturing this bond, with considering modern requirements.
The structure takes place in the fastest-growing suburbs of FitzRoy. Suburbs are essential in the growth of any city, considering the land massing and population growth. Australia‘s faster spread of its roots in the outside suburbs in the mid-19th century. “The word ‘suburb’ actually enters Australian parlance through its use by government land agents as a term for those allotments which lay immediately beyond the ‘town’, that is beyond what we now describe as the central business district.” (Davison, 1993). Suburbs include colonies with the bonding of people as a society, their connection with the surrounding as well as knowing the past and present of your neighborhood.
Speaking of history, the original house on the site was owned by a family of premier furniture makers in the post-war period. The identity of this familyhood was retained through the preservation of exterior walls by Woods Bagot. A modern style equipped and furnished yet well blended with adjacent architecture was one attractive source for this project.
The façade of exposed uniformly spanned brickwork walls, and full-height openings takes us back to the colonial period. Plotting upon the same lines for the exterior of the inserted structure unites all in total. The choice of subtle color reveals the elegance as well as the mystery of the structure. The use of vertical elements on the outer periphery showcases the lenient yet elevated value of the structure. The use of vertical louvers complementing the horizontal spread of the built enhances the quality of appearance.
A play of qualities used here is, where one element with simplicity and bare nature plays itself out and hides to superior the vibrant and creative element in the front. The use of basic horizontal concrete exposed bars not only highlights the brickwork but also the entire picture in a frame. The production of plain and patterns across the structure projects out a design rhythm.
Retaining something is a vital decision based on the value it holds. Scrapping the entire structure from roots and implanting new can be an approach too. But here, in this project, the structure gave the family its identity and reputation. Some potential structures hold the strength to transform themselves into local characters or a landmark. These erections make themselves stand up high amongst the local urban fabric. That point of reference becomes so important that once gone, it takes time for people to generate another. Understanding the value of that landmark and its urban impact, Woods Bagot decided to retain that element.
Any newer structure in that locality has a proportionate impact on the urban fabric around it. The massing of the form has been so patiently thought of that it will provide the separate allocations but still will unite them as one. When a structure picks up a few qualities from the surroundings and presents it with its uniqueness, it submerges as part of the society and makes its impression. The variety of block orientation and placing generates an inter-built interaction course of users. The stepwise transformation of the massing in the picture above witnesses the process and makes up the case for it.
A shopper’s perspective is always inclined towards the Bazaar or malls instead of a single shop within a locality. Having multiple options and variety around has an influential impact on the human brain. In a similar line, in the Marathi language, we have a saying, “not all fingers of a hand are uniform”. This means each character you meet is different, but all those differences make hand work more efficient. This works with our society too.
The internal planning and responsive architecture have created a cheerful microenvironment within. Given the option to choose from a wide range of contrarily designed homes, puts an advantage in the designer’s court. All roadside faces are well managed to give out more rewards for the residents. Slab to sill level openings let the apartment open out their wings in the outer view. This internal detailing enhances the living experience and promotes interaction with nature. Each flat flourished with sunlight and playful shadow dances due to the use of vertical fins and mesh. The planning does support the cross-wind breezes and ventilates the indoor microclimate. Play of levels and areas produces a variety of one, two, and tress bedrooms in 52 apartments in totality. Quite a difficult choice to make.
Public and private always work hand in hand. Outcasting the front for a public restaurant helps in restoring the landmark with its soul and purpose. This interaction with the neighborhood of the structure grows its collaborating charm. Throughout the project, Woods Bagot has kept the focus on passing on the legacy with modern charm boosting the public interaction.
- (Davison, 1993) Davison, G., 1993. THE PAST AND FUTURE OF THE AUSTRALIAN SUBURB. [online] Openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au. Available at: <https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/bitstream/1885/116265/1/URU%20no.33.pdf> [Accessed 7 August 2022].