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Are These The Coolest Apartments In Fitzroy?

Architecture

There’s no shortage of boutique apartment buildings going up across Melbourne’s inner North. But not all apartment buildings are created equal. Today we unveil a particularly creative example – Whitlam Place in Fitzroy.

This incredible building draws upon international and local influences, to create a distinctly Melbourne building. We chat with the architects of Freadman White about their collaboration with Anon Studio, on this incredible mid-sized multi-residential development.

30th October, 2018

The stunning façade of Fitzroy’s newest (and greatest?!) apartment building, Whitlam Place, by Freadman White and Anon. Studio. Photo – Tom Ross.

Custom terrazzo floor, and neon lights… yes… these are the communal spaces! .  Photo – Tom Ross.

The spectacular building takes its name from Whitlam Park, upon which it adjoins. Photo – Tom Ross.

Custom terrazzo flooring in the entranceway. Photo – Tom Ross.

The architects took influence from the civic grandeur of the neighbouring Fitzroy Town Hall in their design. Photo – Tom Ross.

The adjacent park provides a leafy outlook. Photo – Tom Ross.

The Fitzroy Town Hall at early morning light, sitting adjacant to the Whitlam Place development. Photo – Tom Ross.

A look into one of the apartments (stay tuned for a full tour of the penthouse apartment tomorrow!). Photo – Tom Ross.

Windows facing all directions, to maximise the views to the leafty North Fitzroy surrounds. Photo – Tom Ross.

The light base of the building is off-set by the grandeur of the upper levels. All nestled behind a screen of gums. Photo – Tom Ross.

Miriam McGarry
Tuesday 30th October 2018

Freadman White and Anon Studio talk about ‘new patterns for contemporary living’.

Whitlam Place is the brainchild of Melbourne based architecture design studio Freadman White in collaboration with Anon Studio aka, Marcello Donati (Stay tuned for a tour of Marcello’s own penthouse apartment in Whitlam Place tomorrow!)

In an environment where ‘trend-driven’ multi-residential buildings are popping up quickly and re-shaping Melbourne’s suburbs and skylines, Ilana Freadman and Michael White of Freadman White were eager to pursue a design strategy that was informed by its local context. This boutique development of 11 apartments sit opposite the Fitzroy Town Hall and offer a modern interpretation of civic-minded architecture, inspired by both European urbanity (e.g. Aldo Rossi and Giorgio Grassi) and seminal Melbourne design (see local legends Robin Boyd and Roy Grounds). This might all sound like a hectic mash-up, but Whitlam Place seamlessly connects historical references with a hefty dose of Fitzroy local vibes. In archi-terms, think somewhere between ‘International Style’ and ‘Melbourne post-modernism’!

The exterior of Whitlam Place makes an immediate impact from street level, as the solid form of the building hovers over a generously light-filled entrance level. The architects describe this dynamic as ‘balancing material weight against structural lightness, presence against permeability.’ With it’s distinctive surface treatment, the oxidised copper and fluted exterior detailing of the building reference the civic strength of the neighbouring Fitzroy Town Hall.

The apartments of Whitlam Place are designed to ‘amplify their site’s natural attributes’ the architects describe, as full-height sliding glass panels create direct connections between each home and the leafy Fitzroy surrounds. The design blends artisanal practices and attention to detail, and combines ‘textures of warm timber and stone with ceramics and steel, brass and copper.’

While the architects reflect on the ‘sobering realities of town planning, objectors, and latent conditions of the construction phase’, these bureaucratic hurdles were unable to quash any of the ambition of this incredible project. Whitlam Place brings together historical archetypes, contemporary design, artisanal practices, and a sense of playfulness (hello those neons in the entry!) resulting in a truly bespoke, brilliantly bold, and unapologetically creative building. More of this please, Melbourne!

Pop back for a tour of the Marcello Donati’s penthouse apartment in Whitlam Place tomorrow!

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