2 Girls Abbotsford gains its facade

Urban Melbourne relishes the prospect of highlighting projects which depart form the sometimes monotonous nature of contemporary apartment design. 2 Girls Buildings in Abbotsford is such a building.

Located at 11-19 Lithgow Street, Abbotsford opposite Abbotsford Primary School, 2 Girls Building represents the joint efforts of developer Domain Hill Property Group, architects Kavellaris Urban Design and local artist Samantha Everton.

The end result is a dynamic apartment building that melds external and internal spaces to create a sizeable piece of art.

Works still continue on the intricate facade

A fusion of high-art photography and architecture, the impressive project sets to redefine and innovate inner city contemporary living. The majority of the Masquerade image will be transparently infused within the glass, a highly reflective medium that fluidly converses with and reflects its surroundings. The rest will sinuously merge into the building being embossed within the concrete.

There is something otherworldly about this project, as the image seamlessly embeds within the façade of the building and then transcends itself, extending out into three-dimension to light up its surroundings.

Clearly the building's main feature is the DigiGlass facade which depicts Melbourne-based photographer Samantha Everton's Masquerade artwork. Coupled with patterned precast panels and a protruding lamp which doubles as a street light upon completion, 2 Girls Buildings distinguishes itself in terms of design.

According to the project website the artwork continues internally with the entry foyer and corridors lined with numerous artworks, acting as a gallery space of sorts. The project is limited to 15 apartments, each of which has also been adorned with artwork and unique fittings.

But until completion, the external facade fronting Lithgow Street is the champion element of the project.

No ordinary apartment facade


Last year Urban Melbourne nominated The Commons in Brunswick as the best all-round apartment development of 2013, which went on to recently scoop the Premiers Design Award for Innovative and Sustainable Apartment Design. It won't be too far a stretch to suggest that 2 Girls Buildings will be front and center in the next round of Premiers Design Awards, and any other award for that matter.

Very few buildings have the ability to intrigue and stop pedestrians in their tracks; based on observations 2 Girls Building is certainly capable of doing so. Kudos to the development team headed by Domain Hill Property Group which chose an outcome less common (and more expensive to deliver).

I already consider 2 Girls Building to be in the top bracket of what Melbourne has to offer architecturally. More please!


Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.


Transport & Design

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 11:00
Infrastructure Victoria unveiled a new round of research into its larger programme of work dealing with managing transport demand. The authority contracted Arup and KPMG to produce the Melbourne Activity Based Model (MABM) and while it is new, it is considered fit for purpose in the strategic context.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.