This architecture is an urban response to the rapidly changing fabric of Abbotsford. The streetscape has been consolidated with a threaded copper and concrete band of balconies, bringing activity back to the street and providing a crafted foreground to this historical skyline.

Studio Name: Zvi Belling: ITN Architects
Design Team: Zvi Belling and Jenny Cham
Area: 4000 SQM
Year: completed 2019
Location: Abbotsford Melbourne Australia
Consultants: ZS Engineers, Priority Planning, TTM Consulting, B4 Compliance, Octave Acoustics, ADP Consulting, Dobbs Doherty, Grimbos Building Surveyors
Photography Credits: Gallant Lee
Other Credits: client: Tripet Developments, builder: Harris HMC

©Gallant Lee

The entry is flanked by a quaint Abbotsford worker’s cottage and an iconic V-shaped column recalling the heroism of mid-century modernism. The journey through the entryway is punctuated by a series of circular skylights and dappled light filters through various patterned privacy screens. The stone paving is lined with lush greenery fed by a colonnade of old-fashioned watering chains.

The facade presents as a series of interlocking copper and concrete links each expressing residential components that combine to form a textured woven fabric greater than the sum of its parts.

©Gallant Lee

Materials are rich and unpolished. The concrete is patterned with a natural timber grain, the copper has patina and reflection and the paving is rough-hewn stone. The building elements exude permanence, feeling as though they have always been there complimenting the colourful and gritty character of Abbotsford.

All habitable rooms have access to natural light and passive airflow by means of an arrangement around a central courtyard and the bounding streets and laneways, providing light, breeze and community. Living areas are open plan flexible spaces that interface directly with kitchen and dining zones as well as extend out to the copper lined balcony spaces, they allow a variety of furniture configurations that orientate to internal and external views and wall arrangements with considered art and technology possibilities. A communal resident gathering space claims the precious city views.

©Gallant Lee

Solar hot water; photovoltaic power generation; rainwater harvesting, generous bicycle facilities, communal greenery, cross ventilation and passive solar control initiatives reduce the requirement for mechanical air conditioning and assist the city’s shift towards urban greening.

©Gallant Lee

Materials have been selected for their durability and low maintenance properties and assembled in a stylish matrix of muted tones. they transmit a sense of light and calm while the weathered character of course grained external copper linings and exposed patterned concrete seamlessly blend with expansive glass walls integrating into the grain of the Abbotsford street.

ITN Architects is an architectural practice established in 1996 in the Collingwood district of Melbourne. They operate

with a strong local focus and a sphere of influence that extends to projects across Australia and beyond. The firm has contributed to many projects within walking distance of their office as well as work in Cape Town, Dohar and New York. The firm operates in a studio format with four directors, Zvi Belling, Aidan Halloran, Nigel Grigg and Andy Wilson plus 6-8 full time staff. The team is enhanced by a trusted network of consultants, builders, trades, artists and craftspeople. ITN’s approach is characterised by a site responsive approach to materiality form and culture. A commitment to sustainable design is evident in their deployment of innovative technology and adaptive re-use of obsolete structure and infra-structure. Their designs are a unique sophisticated response to the spirit of our time and the complexity of brief,

constructability and developer and community interests. The firm tackle residential, commercial and the space in-between with intensity, enthusiasm and a keen spirit of exploration.


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