Oxley, Collingwood.

Urban Melbourne was fortunate enough to be a fly on the wall at last week's pre-launch evening for Oxley Apartments, Collingwood.

One of four buildings on a 4096sqm plot of land fronting Stanley St and Napoleon St, Oxley is the first step in a development that will eventually accomodate a maximum of 246 apartments. An already strong alliance between developer Urban Inc and architects Elenberg Fraser has been further enhanced with the imminent public launch of Oxley.

Following negotiations between council and developer the initial plans were altered as outlined below due to concerns held by Yarra planners based around extensive community feedback.

As per Yarra Council website changes included:

  • The number of proposed dwellings was reduced from 339 to 246
  • The number of car parking spaces was reduced to 216 (with 246 bicycle spaces and 14 motorcycle spaces proposed). 
  • Two units north-east of 34-44 Stanley Street (levels 2 and 3) were deleted
  • There was greater separation provided between tower elements and along the east-west axis

Although Urban Inc amended plans to address the majority of council concerns the issue of height remained unsolved, hence a visit to VCAT. Gaining favour from VCAT, the now endorsed plans see three buildings of seven, eight and nine levels fronting Stanley St, while another four level complex will eventually face Napoleon St.

Heavy use of native greenery over every level is accompanied by undulating precast panels, trademark Elenberg Fraser bronze glazing and spiral metal features bringing interest to the building's facade, while a cafe will be included at ground level.

As per the VCAT outcome I find it a welcome difference to many other developments that a large amount of total site area is dedicated to green space as shown above - it's just not that common but makes for excellent natural light penetration. Communal areas both internally and externally see the heavy use of steel, glass and masonry - designed as a nod to the area's history. Oxley, as with all other foyers in the development will have direct access to the internal courtyard with glass walls facing those areas, allowing for a dynamic backdrop.

1 bedroom / 1 + study / 2 bedroom options are available ranging in size from 55sqm to 80sqm, seeming trying to capture the younger market in what is traditionally an area with no shortage of up-and-coming trendy hipster types.

Quite a good development in a burgeoning area with one negative. Oxley will replace the People's Market currently on site, but this is the price of progress. Hopefully the market will reappear elsewhere soon enough.

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