Albert Street Residences

Footscray, Melbourne

Client: Three Pillars

Year: 2017

Located in a small residential pocket of bustling Footscray, Albert Street Residences are a collection of 5 petite contemporary townhouses. The townhouses enjoy a dual aspect: a laneway outlook to the south, and a roof-top suburban outlook to the north.

The residences are split across three levels, with carport, study and storage to ground, living above, and two bedrooms on the upper level. Each habitable room to the laneway enjoys large openable floor-to-ceiling sliding doors. The second bedroom and kitchen to the first floor enjoy large windows facing into a north-facing light void. These elements combine to ensure the interior of each townhouse is filled with ample natural light and ventilation

The site posed a number of design challenges for the ML Design team. The foremost being the tight site dimensions which were further reduced by a discrepancy in the boundary fencing which saw the northern property owner accrue possessory rights over a portion of our clients site.

Given the extremely compact site, the townhouses had to be strategically designed to take advantage of the laneway to the south, and incorporate a compact stair arrangement to service all levels.

The southern orientation of the site further complicated the design process, but was overcome with the inclusion of north facing light voids. These provided good northern sun to all levels and a skylight to the carport areas.

ML Design’s decision to integrate dual orientation, meant that all residences enjoy cross ventilation and good northern light. The light void articulates the northern elevation and creates visual interest within the interior spaces, particularly in the kitchen and living rooms.

Given the project’s proximity to the mixed-use industrial zones of Footscray, our designs focused on a material palate of industrial chic, complemented by timber shiplap – bringing warmth back into the scheme. The designs staggered street façade and mix of materials ensure it responds well to multi-faceted mix of styles now present in this contemporary context. The ML Design team have delivered a strategic design solution which is contextually relevant, acknowledges the sites orientation, and sits comfortably within a very compact allotment.