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Sue Carr provides insight on Adderley, West End

The first apartments within the West End precinct have been launched within the 15-storey Adderley, designed by interiors group Carr Design Group. Covered by Urban Melbourne last month, West End represents the biggest development project in the inner city, transforming a 9200sqm former industrial site into a thriving, self-sustaining neighbourhood.

Adderley is located on the south-western corner of the West End site at the juncture of Adderley and Dudley Streets. It is the tallest building in the precinct and has been designed to anchor the site and provide a high-end cornerstone to the West End precinct.

The building adopts a tower-podium typology with the tower element wrapped in bronze vertical fins, rising above a four-level charcoal concrete podium, grounding the building into the streetscape, with green plantings activating the lower facade. The tower's curved form, draws on the area's industrial past with a strong formal language which references silos.

Entry to Adderley is via a five-star hotel-style lobby featuring an integrated art gallery, which provides residents and visitors with a sense of arrival in addition to a concierge space and marble floor finish.

The expansive views from within Adderley's apartments. Image: Trennery Property

Internally, apartments have been designed for open plan living and to maximise Adderley’s panoramic views across the city and Docklands.

Urban Melbourne asked Sue Carr, Principal at Carr Design Group to provide a bit of background on the project and the experience of working on a significant project amongst a diverse group of talented peers.

Urban Melbourne: Is it fair to say that apartment buyers have become more discerning and to really stand out in a saturated marketplace you have to provide almost luxury hotel-like facilities, spaces and interiors?

SC: Apartment buyers have definitely become more discerning and yes, it is now crucial to provide the types of services, amenities and design consistent with the highest rated hotel.

When staying in a hotel, you expect to work out in a high-end gym and relax in a beautiful lounge, but why should this only happen when you’re traveling?

Hotel lobbies have always been inviting and well-designed, so logically residential building lobbies are now expected to have this look, too. The high attention to detail that’s expected in hotels - right down to curated art exhibitions, restaurants and intimate bars - is now crucial to residential building design as well.

West End will deliver a host of amenities for residents and the community, including a 500sqm park to be owned by the City of Melbourne, car share facilities, a day spa, retail arcade, restaurants, cafes, bars, a supermarket, gym, medical centre and dog wash and walking services.

Exclusive residents’ facilities include a 50-seat cinema, wine storage, gardens, barbecues, outdoor dining, a 25m lap pool, a separate lounge pool, spa, deck, outdoor event spaces and an app for controlling apartment lighting and electrics as well as booking concierge services.

It’s about creating communities, neighbourhoods, a sense of security, convenience and liveability that provides the anecdote to an often fast paced world.

UM: What was the major design inspiration? The industrial landscape of West Melbourne? How did this manifest in the design of the building?

SC: Situated on the south-western corner of the precinct, Adderley’s solid, grounded form anchors the site to its eclectic heritage. Referencing the curved, undulating structures of West Melbourne’s iconic industrial silos, refined, linear spaces define the aesthetic, with a grey tinted glass façade providing moodiness and subtle references to edgy origins. Complemented by its strong charcoal base, brass vertical fins wrap the building and provide interest from afar.

The design celebrates a sense of authenticity and an originality characteristic of the industrial landscape of the area, yet a timelessness and strength true to the origins of this much loved heartland prevails.

Carr drew inspiration from classic Italian style and pursued a bold and elegant interior solution, with a refined yet industrial character that takes cues from West Melbourne’s heritage as a resilient, hard-working, genuine suburb.

Energetic, dynamic yet elegant and sophisticated, Carr focused on handsome, strong, monochromatic materials - hard and soft, lustrous and tactile, with rich grain timber veneers, terrazzo and metal detailing.

The Adderley brings the high end bespoke design we are known for in residential areas to an apartment setting, creating a truly unique and unexpected home.

The local market is craving something interesting, detailed, classic and timeless but also adventurous and edgy. We looked to the Italian masters and were inspired by bold geometric forms when designing the Adderley

West End Master Plan with Adderley in-situ. Image: Trennery Property

UM: What was it like working in unison with so many other talented designers and architects?

SC: It was a fantastic experience to work with the likes of Mim Design, Hecker Guthrie and Six Degrees. Despite a similar brief, each of us had a distinct and individual design interpretation of this unique and incredibly exciting new urban precinct. The collaborative efforts of the design firms involved has produced a result as diverse as Melbourne itself with a crafted, considered mix of styles to turn a former industrial site into an eclectic, vibrant precinct and community.

UM: How does Adderley fit within the overall vision and master plan for West End?

SC: The Adderley building represents West End’s most exclusive address where luxurious fittings and refined, timeless materials are central to the buyer demand. Featuring 100 one, two and three bedroom apartments across 14 levels, we have changed the concept of apartment design creating luxurious, crafted home-like spaces that are as sophisticated as they are practical for those that respect and appreciate beautiful design.

UM: Do you think West End will be seen as a benchmark or model for other developments in the area and a catalyst for further investment?

SC: Absolutely, West End is the start of something new, something fresh – a precinct that builds on the authenticity and deeply ingrained fondness for an established suburb but building on these foundations to bolster its liveability and liveliness as somewhere to call home. It is the re-awakening of a suburb previously only renowned for its industrial origins and gritty history, bringing together a whole new community of people and personalities from young families to empty nesters.

The provision of 5 star hotel amenities and an eclectic mix of interesting and dynamic architectural and design outcomes across the five buildings comprising West End, will see the creation of a world-class mixed-use retail, residential and leisure precinct of which Melbourne can be proud.

The Adderley is an accompaniment to a curated life, a life well traveled, and offers a unique home for those with a discerning eye for timeless design.

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