This project takes on the challenge of a narrow North Melbourne site situated between a two storey townhouse and an A grade heritage listed building. The proposal is for two apartments to the 4 storey building facing Queensberry street along with another townhouse to the rear laneway.
The articulation of the proposed Queensberry street apartments has been informed by alignment with key elements of the neighbouring buildings. The building has been setback in line with its adjacent neighbours which creates a continuity in the streetscape and maintains views to the Grade A listed 598 Queensberry St. Along Queensberry St, buildings are generally built to the street alignment and this setback condition is infact an anomaly. Importantly, the street wall has been preserved by the insertion within this zone of a balcony built to the street alignment, along with continuing the boundary fenceline of the adjacent buildings. The balcony is built on blade walls and frames a verandah and entry, echoing the typology of 604-606 Queensberry St. Above this is a recessive third floor expressed as a mansard roof form set behind the horizon of the lower mass. In this way, a two storey built form is expressed to the street of a similar scale with adjacent buildings.
By utilising the natural fall of the ground, and creating a courtyard set lower than Queensberry St, it is possible to create two dwellings fronting Queensberry St over four levels and for this to present as a two storey built form with a recessive third floor. All dwellings have direct access at street level, with the upper dwelling (dwelling 2) to Queensberry Street accessed via private entry and stair. All dwellings have access to two areas of private open space. The lower dwelling (dwelling 1) has a private courtyard set roughly in line with current lower level of the existing house, as well as a balcony beside its living areas. Dwelling 2 also has a balcony beside its living areas as well as an upper roof terrace. Dwelling 3 has its primary roof terrace at level 1 beside its living areas and an additional courtyard space at ground floor. The central courtyard zones enable the built massing to be separated to maintain a scale in keeping with the area. Critically it enables daylight and views not only for the subject site but also for the neighbouring properties by providing breathing space around current and proposed built form.