A Curious and Tactile Warehouse Apartment – Collingwood Apartment by Rob Kennon Architects
Collingwood, VIC, Australia

Photography Derek Swalwell
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Within the walls of the former Foy & Gibson department store, Collingwood Apartment sees Rob Kennon Architects combine a fluidity of movement with moments of curiosity and tactile refinement, customising the apartment experience as a reflection of its owners.

In the densely populated inner northern milieu of Melbourne’s Collingwood, the apartment of the same name takes residency in one of the important historical buildings of the area. The Foy & Gibson department store is one part of a multi-dimensional red brick enclave of architectural remnants from Collingwood’s industrial past, where localised manufacturing occurred on the same streets as the items being produced were sold. Sitting adjacent neighbouring Fitzroy (Melbourne’s first suburb), Collingwood’s history of industry and manufacturing contributes an important part of the character of the area. Originally renovated by McBride Charles Ryan to transform the building’s original industrial purpose to its present residential use, Rob Kennon Architects has subsequently breathed a new and welcomed contemporary life into the Collingwood Apartment.

Originally renovated by McBride Charles Ryan to transform the building’s original industrial purpose to its present residential use, Rob Kennon Architects has subsequently breathed a new and welcomed contemporary life into the Collingwood Apartment.

Spread over three levels, the apartment reconfigures the typical inner urban residential arrangement to reflect a unique engagement with space.

Throughout, the aim was to create a series of moments and places to engage and pause, not necessarily the typical destination arrangement.

Taking references from its client through personality cues and by mapping the way that they wanted to live, Rob Kennon Architects proposes a home of connectedness and fluidity. Spread over three levels, the apartment reconfigures the typical inner urban residential arrangement to reflect a unique engagement with space. Throughout, the aim was to create a series of moments and places to engage and pause, rather than the typical plan that emphasises the destination. Integrating gardens, reading elements, places to retreat and to engage, the home is imagined based on the life that happened within it.

At just under 150 square metres, the apartment planning meanders from one space to the other, hinged together by a central shard wall. On each level the cranked wall takes on its own character and becomes the backdrop of the functional elements. The materiality is anchored in a base of timber, plaster, stone and putty grey paint, and is brought together with refined metal detailing. Lining the faceted side of the shard with aged brass, offering a living material to further age and patina over time and with continued engagement. Connected vertically through a glass- lined stair, the only doors within the entire apartment are connected to the bathroom. The apartment then becomes a truly intimate and connected space, encouraging its owners and visitors to respond accordingly.

The materiality is anchored in a base of timber, plaster, stone and putty grey paint and is brought together with refined metal detailing.

Although an acutely public home, the moments created throughout allow for pauses and a deliberate quietness. Collingwood Apartment is a home of connectedness: to its past, its many zones and between its occupants. Rob Kennon Architects has combined a restrained sense of drama and theatre to propose an enviable abode.

The materiality is anchored in a base of timber, plaster, stone and putty grey paint, and is brought together with refined metal detailing.

A Curious And Tactile Warehouse Apartment Collingwood Apartment By Rob Kennon Architects Collingwood Vic Australia Image 14
Published 21 June, 2020
Photography  Derek Swalwell
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