Alexandra’s external area is comprised of a red brick tile podium in the foreground, backed dropped by a secondary façade of dark metal plates and blades. A line of glazing is applied between these dual facets to create the illusion of a floating top element. Remaining true to the inclinations of industrial-style architecture, Alexandra’s materiality and colour palette are simplified and pared back. The form is clean yet interesting; bold yet articulated; a design that draws in eye while providing for an inviting sense of home.
Fostering sustainability while softening the otherwise edgy design, integrated landscaping brings an element of greenery to the façade. Ornamenting every angle, from the protruding windows to the ground floor component, many of the featured plants are indigenous to Studley Park and Yarra Bend. The landscaping adheres to an ‘inner-city domestic’ style in a way that is complementary to the architecture.
Alexandra’s interiors reveal a fusion of industrial minimalism and liveable sophistication, very much cohesive with the design features depicted on the façade. While discernably modern, these spaces are homely and comforting, achieved via elements like an abundance of natural light throughout. An unrivalled suite of finishes grace Alexandra’s interiors, including stylish accents of black metal, premium stone surfaces, timber floorboards and plush carpets. As a result, homes feel luxurious and well-appointed, setup to enrich each and every day.
Enhancing depth and dimension, protruding window boxes wrap around the periphery of the contemporary façade. This feature serves to differentiate Alexandra from its surrounding residences, while contributing to its distinctly modern charm.
Set atop the robust brick finished podium, the upper level of the building features a sophisticated metal form. Recessed from the street, this creates a layered, ‘floating’ aesthetic while providing added space for landscaping and outdoor living. The black metal materiality ties into the industrial window frames for a cohesive look and feel.
The streetscapes of Clifton Hill are synonymous with industrial architecture, urban warehouses and iconic brick facades. Alexandra is inspired and informed by this context, and the project site’s original building, a red brick factory.
Robust and elegant, expansive metal window frames invite a generous flow of light into the homes. Also channelling the industrial-chic aesthetic, they equip rooms with a dynamic focal point, as well as a stylish connection to the outdoors.
What key elements were drawn on from the former factory site in the crafting of Alexandra?
The existing red brick building on the site was inspirational for us. The red brick semi industrial buildings side by side with smaller grain residential buildings is core to the neighbourhood character of the Clifton Hill. While the original building could not be retained, the new design carries over many of the original building’s attributes. The main façade of Alexandra has the same red brick aesthetic and overall scale. Windows and planter boxes adorn the façade in a contemporary interpretation of the old steel framed windows prevalent in the semi-industrial buildings of the area.
Other than the factory, did anything else inspire Alexandra, and how has the project evolved from this initial concept?
Alexandra is designed to sit in Clifton Hill as though it belongs there. It is unashamedly a new and significant building that is designed to be one of the many cherished larger grain buildings in the neighbourhood. This is achieved through careful and thoughtful selection of building materials and respecting the way buildings of vastly different scale and type can sit comfortably and handsomely together, making Clifton Hill such a popular place to live. Alexandra is designed with our philosophy of developing new residences that foster genuine ties with the community and positively contribute to a localities character. The goal is to create a place that makes its residents and the local community happy through means of socially and environmentally sustainable development.
What are some of the notable materials used throughout Alexandra, and what is the effect you would like them to have on future residents?
In general, materials used throughout Alexandra are raw and of the earth. Red brick, metal windows and planter boxes provide a very simple and timeless façade, offset and highlighted by a fine-grained black metal backdrop creating a well-balanced and proportioned building that is designed to be loved by the residents, the neighbourhood and people passing by. Internally, earthy materials continue albeit in a more refined manner, and are beautifully complemented with timber floors and clean white walls.
What sets Alexandra apart from other residences in its milieu? What is your favourite aspect?
We have put the same love and attention to detail into the design of each apartment residence that we would into our high end single residential projects. In that sense, Alexandra is not just an apartment building, but a collection of 33 unique and highly refined residences that sit together within the embrace of a building envelope that has been carefully crafted to belong in Clifton Hill.
The apartments in Alexandra are generous in size and planned in many ways like a house. There is a real diversity in apartment type and size, assuring it’s appeal to a broad demographic range.
The Alexandra team recognises that environmentally sustainable design is an imperative for modern architecture. To work towards a greener future, there is a responsibility to consider the project’s impact from the outset – not just on the planet, but on the local community and the lives of its occupants. Working collaboratively with environmentally sustainable design consultancy GIW, Alexandra embraces these principals through the implementation of numerous eco-savvy features – significantly reducing its footprint and enabling a more efficient living experience for its residents.
Alexandra will offer electric bike charging provisions & provision for an electric car charging point, encouraging eco-conscious living.
Common areas feature recycled bricks from the original factory building, a considered touch that honours the origins of the site while further contributing to the industrial aesthetic of the interior.
15,000L of rainwater will be harvested by water tanks to service selected toilets, as well as the ground floor landscape irrigation. This will minimise water usage and reduce storm water run off among various other benefits.
Protecting homes from the hot afternoon sun while reducing glare and the need for air-conditioning, select north & west facing windows feature customised shading devices, a practical inclusion that is also visually stylish.
Significantly reducing Alexandra’s overall footprint while reducing electricity costs, solar panels installed on the roof will power 40% of the common areas.
Urban Initiatives have drawn upon the local landscape for much of their inspiration, utilising a largely native plant palette that settles in seamlessly with the greenery of Clifton Hill.
Alexandra has an enviable 6.5 star average energy rating, providing a myriad of considered features that reduce the footprint of the development including double glazing throughout, organic waste disposal & over 40 bike parks.
The majority of living areas offer optimal cross flow ventilation, ensuring homes remain efficiently cooled throughout the year without residents having to crank the air conditioner or dial up the fans.
Alexandra is located within walking distance of some of Melbourne’s lushest parks and reserves. Every day presents an opportunity to connect with nature, be it in the form of a scenic walk, an idyllic picnic or play time in the park with your pup.
Alexandra is awarded with stunning views of the city from many apartments, to be admired from behind the most generous of windows. Gleaming in the sun or glistening at nighttime, the skyline view is one of Alexandra’s most rewarding attributes.
Alexandra is founded on strong principals of sustainability. Featuring extensive landscaping, abundant natural light and cross flow ventilation, provision for an electric car charging point and E-bike charging provisions, rainwater harvesting and solar panels, the project has been consciously and considerately designed from all ends.
Alexandra’s location is highly walkable, making for a life of optimum convenience. With both Clifton Hill and Victoria Park train stations just a 10-minute walk away, a trip to the city can take just 20-minutes door to door.
Favouring quality over quantity, Alexandra is comprised of 33 exclusive apartments all with on grade car parking, and no car stackers. Each apartment is crafted with meticulous care, forming a series of residences that capture the essence of a home.
An exemplary team of collaborators and consultants will continue to play a hand in Alexandra until well after its completion. Renowned architectural firm Ola Studio has refined the project’s design alongside artisans United Products, Plant Society and Signorino. The building’s fundamentals have been designed with input from leading disciplines including GIW, Form Structures, ECM and Reddo Building Surveyors.
Alexandra represents the 7th project Wulff Projects and Carta Group have been involved in together. Their strong, long standing relationship has been built on shared values, common goals and ultimately an unwavering commitment to delivering high quality projects which stand the tests of time.
Alexandra is generously landscaped, featuring a myriad of local plants indigenous to the area, complemented by select, adaptable species. Expansive, lush open spaces are also granted to many residents for moments of outdoor serenity.