Designing a diverse community – Cowper Residences
With a desire to attract a diverse set of buyers, the Cowper Residences designed by ClarkeHopkinsClarke reflect the vibrant culture of the buzzing Melbourne inner suburb Footscray.
Located on a quiet tree lined street at 34 Cowper Street, Footscray, VIC, Cowper Residences is a unique contemporary collection of townhouses, apartments and SOHOs (Small Office/Home Office) that have a public face for residents who operate a small business from home.
Drawing inspiration from its vibrant community surrounds, such as Footscray Market and the bustling Vietnamese and African restaurants of nearby Hopkins Street, Cowper Residences celebrates Footscray’s history and artisan vibe.
“The client’s vision right from the start was to create a real point of difference to the other residential communities in the area by focusing on high-quality design and flexible living to ensure Cowper Residences would appeal to suitably diverse buyers,” explains Michelle Cavicchiolo, interiors associate, ClarkeHopkinsClarke.
“For us, walkability and connectivity were integral from the start. We used our Creating Vibrant Communities methodology [a two-year research project that unpacks and defines the key building blocks of great places] to flesh out the brief and identify opportunities for hard elements like form and materials and soft elements like fostering a sense of belonging, safety, and diversity.”
The project comprises 400 residences, and the design team embraced local character and scale and broke that down into smaller communities linked by leafy, communal spaces at street level and on rooftops, where residents and their families, friends and community connections could come together.
“We drew on prevailing neighbourhood character to inform material selection,” says Sa Bayley, senior interior designer at ClarkeHopkinsClarke.
“So, you’ll find the raw concrete and face brick of semi-industrial Footscray at Cowper Residences, but it’s softened by timber and greenery that’s evident in more surrounding residential pockets.”
The three building types are distinctly different to offer choice to a wide range of residents. The townhouses are designed as contemporary spaces that allow owners room to grow and scope to add their own personal style and feature private entries and upgrade options.
The SOHOs acknowledge the site’s industrial heritage by playing on the textures of bricks, timbers and metals. They offer loft living with the city skyline as a backdrop but also the social connectivity of a community terrace garden. The apartments are more spacious than the norm, filled with light and city views, and quality fixtures and fittings.
ClarkeHopkinsClarke chose Phoenix’s Vivid Slimline collections for the kitchens and bathrooms, with finishes in Matte Black, Brushed Gold and Brushed Nickel. For the laundry, the design team chose the Ivy MKII collection.
“We chose Phoenix Tapware products because the quality, slender profile and matching accessories suited the project perfectly,” explains Cavicchiolo.
“We integrated Phoenix products into the interiors as we were planning the kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. We were drawn by the extensive colour range available and saw an opportunity to give each distinct scheme colour upgrade options.”
Bayley adds, “using Phoenix Tapware allowed purchases to select their own tapware colour as part of purchaser upgrades, which was one way residents could then put their own personal touch on their home.”
Interior Design: ClarkeHopkinsClarke
Developer: AVIC Developers
Builder: L.U. Simon Builders
Products: Vivid Slimline Up Shower / Wall Mixer, Vivid Slimline Plus Wall Basin / Bath Outlet, Vivid Shower Rose 230mm Round, Vivid Ceiling Show Arm 300mm, Vivid Shower Arm Round 400mm Long, Vivid Twin Shower, Vivid Slimline Shower/Bath Diverter Mixer, Vivid Slimline Hand Shower Microphone (custom), Vivid Slimline S/L Mixer 220mm Square O/Let (custom), Vivid Slimline S/L Mixer 220mm Square (custom).