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Woods Bagot and Cbus Property's Assembly

Cbus Property has sought to challenge the concept of typical apartment design with the completion of Assembly, a low-rise, architecturally designed development on the fringe of the CBD. It is the first in a series of design-led apartment projects by the developer and has been targeted at the owner occupier market.

Bordered on three sides by Capel, Courtney and Queensberry Streets in North Melbourne, Assembly creates a boutique address across four distinctive buildings, in a unique residential enclave.

Assembly as seen from the corner of Capel and Queensberry Streets.

The $80 million development has been designed by architects Woods Bagot and comprises 138 apartments across a series of highly crafted metallic forms, organised around a central common landscape, with the smallest building containing just 20 units.

Adrian Pozzo, CEO of Cbus Property has identified that the Gen X and Y market is largely under-serviced by property developers and is focusing his strategy on servicing this demographic, citing the demand for design-led, generous, fringe CBD apartments.

Assembly is almost completely sold out with only three of the 138 apartments left for sale.

Assembly is a different kind of project for Cbus Property and one we can be proud of.

We deliberately chose a low rise design to respond to the surrounding area and create a community residential feel. The market has responded enthusiastically to this unique project, with only three apartments left for sale.

There is an owner occupier market in the inner fringe that has largely been forgotten as the industry has raced to fill investor and downsizer needs. There are a lot of young professionals, couples and affluent singles in Melbourne willing to pay more for generous, well-designed and quality apartments where they can live and entertain.

Providing this type of owner occupier product is a focus for our business in the current market, as we can see this segment is greatly under served.

Adrian Pozzo, Chief Executive Officer, Cbus Property
A common internal landscape ties the four volumes together.

Creating a development both unique to its surroundings but with an element of familiarity, Assembly draws on North Melbourne’s architectural vernacular and the materiality of the area, comprising a series of low rise sculpturally formed buildings interconnected by common landscaped laneways. The intent was to create a collection of distinctive buildings, of a similar architectural expression which foster a community feel.

In order to address the requirements of residents and the planning scheme with regard to privacy, natural light and ventilation, a strategy was adopted to split the site into four buildings. This allowed ample separation between the buildings which in turn provided access to natural daylight and ventilation in apartments.

Through the crafting of raw, honest materials, which draw on the surrounding neighbourhood, the buildings have their own individual identity via the use of a variety of tones for the metal and zinc external cladding. This provides the development with a contemporary industrial aesthetic.

The metallic forms of Assembly with steel reveals to windows.

Woods Bagot Principal and lead designer Peter Miglis said it was important to express this meticulous crafting through the design of the development.

We wanted to build on the history of North Melbourne, with its light industrial warehouses, as well as the neighbourhood’s emerging sense of cool. The design draws inspiration from the North Melbourne skyline's silhouette of pitched church roof profiles and re-imagines them with a contemporary twist.

Carefully considered elements and details are brought poetically together from the walls, cladding, window reveals to the ceilings, providing a sensitive human scale for residential living. The individuality of each building enables occupants to identify their own home within the overall development.

Assembly seeks to discover a more personalised and intimate scale through the use of punch windows in each apartment which frame a view and create a piece of art within the interior experience,

Drawing on the architecture of the area, Assembly features a series of laneways that make the buildings permeable. Each building features its own foyer and once residents step off the lift, there is a view back down onto the central courtyard, making the entire space enjoyable for its inhabitants.

Architect Peter Miglis, Principal, Woods Bagot

Inspired by the local warehouse architecture, the interiors have been considered with a robust, industrial material palette employed consistently throughout. The concrete soffits to living spaces provide apartments with an industrial feel which expresses the construction process employed.

The formwork used during the construction visible on the soffits. These complement the timber floors while the open plan kitchen and living areas are loosely defined by kitchen bulkheads. The finishes used for the balconies extend to the periphery of living areas acting as an extension of the living spaces, while projecting bay windows highlight and frame views beyond.

The communal rooftop terrace has also been carved into the building as a result of strict planning requirements and features timber bench seating, plants and BBQ area for residents. The CBD views from this area are expansive and impressive, allowing residents a glimpse of the hustle and bustle and bright lights of the city beyond.

The view of the north of the city from the rooftop.

Assembly adds to Cbus Property's growing repertoire of quality, inner city apartment projects, including Volaire in West Melbourne, which is about to start construction in September and caters to the same demographic of owner occupiers, Classic East Melbourne and a yet-to-be-revealed project in Collingwood.

Woods Bagot, in collaboration with SHoP Architects of New York, has been engaged by Cbus Property to deliver the design for Collins Arch at 447 Collins Street. Cbus Property held a ceremony to mark construction commencement on Collins Arch this morning.

Collins Arch, 447 Collins Street. Image courtesy Woods Bagot + SHoP

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