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Best Residential Alterations & Additions Over $100,000

Fitzroy Warehouse Conversion

David G Terry for Fitzroy Warehouse Conversion
(03) 9509 1981

“The client – a Melbourne legal professional wishing to retire from the law – purchased a large former warehouse/factory in North Fitzroy, to pursue his full-time interest in furniture making,” said David Terry. “He required an imaginative design solution, to include:

  • a large workshop area for producing custom-built furniture;
  • an upstairs residence, including library, billiard room, open-deck area, bedrooms;
  • a ‘secret’ enclosed garden;
  • a specially designed water feature for the garden;
  • the historic nature of the site, and neighbourhood character overlay, had to be respected;
  • minimal structural change to the building;
  • little, if any, change to the external appearance from streets (front and rear);
  • internal fitout to include timber items – sliding doors, light towers, cabinets – which could be constructed by the owner.”

“This project is unique because it involved an innovative concept to preserve as much as possible of historic industrial structure and yet introduce a large ‘secret garden’, residence and large workshop,” added David.

“The garden concept is unique because it uses mainly pot plants in raised towers where soil based plants were not possible because of the slab. Partial retention of roof provided perimeter shelter, and two large pools collected rainwater and keep underlaying slab cool,” said David.

The conversion of this large-volume industrial building to a residence presented an unusual challenge for the designer: “what to do with all the space”? “The resultant design successfully demonstrates what can be achieved with a large volume building,” said Geoff Hoare, Chair of the Judging Panel. “It has met and overcome the challenges of combining privacy and openness. The resultant building has ensured privacy where required, whilst maintaining the feeling of space throughout. The design also features a magnificent internal garden, of which the owner is particularly proud,” said Geoff.