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In 2020, the Melbourne CBD apartment construction frenzy continued unabated. Alongside curtain wall towers, a less attention-grabbing, but no less significant phase emerged, marking a maturation of the city living cycle. First-wave adaptive reuse buildings that marked the genesis of this process are now seeing their apartments further regenerated to reflect changing life patterns.


One such building is Sargood House, formerly a textile manufacturing warehouse for Sargood and Gardiner built in 1926, and converted into apartments in 1998.

Stripping back the space, the elemental industrial expression of the shell provided a visible template within which living spaces flow within the orthodoxy of the apartment's singular light and view vantage. Finding warmth amid cool materials, a once unappointed space feels structured by livability. There is a clear focus on shared experience, whether that be eating, cooking, or simply being together all at once.


The muted palette and deliberate underlighting amplify the spatial dimension of the large open areas and allow the occupants to take centre stage. Deliberately, there was a lack of strong colour except for the black steel shelves of the bookcases together with their black back panels, designed to make the books appear to float. Colour was to be provided later through the clients' clothes, books, art, objects, and furniture.




John Gollings      

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