A storied history: designing Alchemy apartments
Framed by North Melbourne’s historic terrace homes and established gardens, the Alchemy apartments deliver a bold architectural statement wrapped in a striking bronze facade.
A wander through North Melbourne offers a landscape of contrasts. Contemporary architecture sits alongside green expanses of parkland and modern cafes, houses and shops hide behind facades from years gone by.
Nestled among this mêlé is Alchemy, a boutique development featuring 49 contemporary residences designed inside and out by architectural practice Hayball. Drawing on the heritage and industrial character of the area, Hayball’s design intent was to integrate the new apartments into the existing residential fabric and broader neighbourhood context of larger commercial, institutional, and multi-residential buildings.
“The result is an architectural form and facade expression reflective of its context, sympathetic of its urban and environmental setting and respectful of its industrial past,” explains the Hayball team.
“The building’s textured concrete boundary walls bookend the ribbed metal façade echoing the terrace walls of surrounding civic buildings and a hipped roof form evoke nearby metal deck rooves. The eastern and western balconies are enclosed by fine white perforated metal to mimic the wrought-iron decorated Victorian-era verandas and respond to privacy requirements.”
The clean and open interior design features natural tones and textures that combine to create a sense of calm and clarity. Materials such as glass, metal and timber are a nod to its industrial past and the use of concrete, stone, black matte tapware and sleek joinery create a contemporary aesthetic.
“Our vision for the interiors was about purity of form, executed with a luxurious material palette including black odyssey marble detailing and European oak timber floors,” says the Hayball team.
“We wanted hardware that was industrial-inspired and durable without compromising design quality. Which brought us to Phoenix tapware range – the slimline design and simple form of the products add a layer of understated luxury to the kitchen and bathroom spaces. We also love the fact the Phoenix is a local brand.”
For the apartments, Hayball chose Vivid Slimline Sink Mixer Squareline for the kitchen, and for the bathroom, Vivid Slimline, Pina and Gloss collections in a matte black finish to complement the concrete ceiling, wood floors and black fittings throughout the apartments.
In the project’s penthouse apartment, the Zimi Sink Mixer features in the kitchen and in the bathroom, Zimi and Mekko collections, also in matte black.
“The quality and detailing of the products elevated our minimalist design and enhanced the contemporary luxury feel we were hoping to achieve,” adds Hayball.
Interior Design: Hayball
Developer: S Projects
Products: Vivid Slimline Wall Basin Mixer Set 180mm Curved, Vivid Slimline Shower / Wall Mixer, Vivid Slimline Sink Mixer 220mm Squareline, Pina Twin Shower, Gloss Toilet Roll Holder, Gloss Robe Hook, Gloss Double Towel Rail 800mm, Gloss Shower Shelf, Zimi Sink Mixer, Mekko Floor Mounted Bath Mixer.
Photographer: Dianna Snape