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The Garden House

Multifamily Design Stays True to Historical Melbourne Neighborhood's Confines While Also Offering A Modern Living Space

Sitting opposite of Melbourne’s Royal Carlton Gardens and the Royal Melbourne Exhibition Center, this luxurious five-story apartment building is just a walk away from the coastal capital’s central business district and the historically Italian neighborhood around Lygon Street.

Located on the corner of Rathdowne and Queensbury Street, the first three floors made of concrete, glass, and wood are set within a textured podium that elevates the entire structure off the ground lane with several concrete geometric columns and splayed piers. The apartments in this form have several balconies external louvre blinds providing shade to the north and visual privacy to the south from the Panorama building. Extending to the west, it also wraps around three individual townhouses facing towards Grosvenor Place that are the same height as the Carlton terrace due to historical district building restrictions.

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In total, this part of the building houses 18 one-bedroom, 25 two-bedroom, and a trio of three-bedroom apartments. Additionally, the first floor houses both retail and commercial space.

The top two levels are referred to as the “Sky Villas,” a series of condos clad in several pieces of metal, are a darker shade of gray. Responding to the neighborhood’s architectural context, the pieces sit back from all the podium edges, about six meters from the Terrain House Building-side and five meters from the Rathdowne Street side. This helps to both respect its heritage neighbors and break down the architectural mass of the building. On the northern side, the roof features a built-in garden terrace.

Strong sustainability principles have been incorporated as well, which include double glazing, smart lighting, rain water harvesting, external shading and positive thermal mass.

Photography: Trevor Mein

Client

Piccolo Developments

Status

Built

Location

Melbourne, Australia

Completion Date

2011

Size

48,400 square meters

Awards

Urban Development Institute of Australia Award for Excellence

  • President’s Award, Most Outstanding Development in Australia
  • National Award, Medium Density Housing
  • Victorian State Award, Medium Density Development

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Property Council of Australia / Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards (2013)

  • Best Residential Development

In an exclusive location on the edge of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, the apartment complex offers luxurious residences complemented by proximity to transport, entertainment and the area’s inherent cafe culture.

No single urban influence dominated in the design analysis and planning approval process.

A three-story textured masonry podium is elevated off the ground plane with a series of columns and splayed piers. This elevation allows for entrances and gardens to exist within the typical low-scale typology apropos to the Carlton area.

Comfort is immediately created by the use of soft sandy tones, timeless joinery and wool carpets underfoot.

Generous sized bedrooms seamlessly translate into dressing rooms and en-suite spaces, creating a luxurious and private garden-side retreat.