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The Sweetest Home Renovation

Architecture

If Willy Wonka was looking to convert his chocolate factory into an apartment, Folk Architects would be up to the job!

The architects have transformed a former confectionary factory in Collingwood with alterations and a second-level addition. A 14-metre long pink bridge creates connection and light in the previously industrial space, and offers a sweet link between the old and new.

7th June, 2019

A former confectionary factory in inner Melbourne gets a sparkling upgrade from Folk architects. Photo – Tom Blachford.

Photo – Tom Blachford.

Photo – Tom Blachford.

Photo – Tom Blachford.

Photo – Tom Blachford.

Photo – Tom Blachford.

Photo – Tom Blachford.

Photo – Tom Blachford.

Photo – Tom Blachford.

Miriam McGarry
Friday 7th June 2019

‘…nuances of light can be enjoyed at any time of the day’. – Christie Petsinis.

It isn’t every day that architects are presented with the opportunity to convert an old confectionary factory into a contemporary apartment! The initial brief to Folk Architects was simply to provide an additional level (behind the original, heritage-listed façade) that would include a master bedroom and en-suite.

Folk Architects’ director Christie Petsinis explains that after further consultation, the brief expanded to emphasise the ‘importance of an open and flexible space for living and entertaining, with a seamless connection to the outdoors.’ In response, the architects created three private outdoor spaces, ‘meaning the nuances of light can be enjoyed at any time of the day’.

The adaptive re-use of this site draws upon the existing building fabric and features a considered introduction of new materials. The surprising and cheerful pink ‘bridge’ offers a ‘visual and spatial gesture throughout the house,’ as Christie describes. The ‘catwalk’ (nicknamed by the builder) is perforated, allowing light to flow through the home.

Through cleverly framing views, creating links with multiple outdoor spaces, and that hovering pink bridge, the architects have created movement and a sense of connection throughout a home that would otherwise be a dark, linear space.

While the pink bridge draws the eye upwards, the pared-back colour palette of the home ensures there is no risk of an overly saccharine interior. The terrazzo kitchen bench, retained industrial features in the living room, and refined stoneware in the bathroom create a crisp, elegant balance between the old and the new.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net