A jagged roof enlivens the Ferrars & York housing by Six Degrees Architects

A jagged roof referencing nearby South Melbourne Market tops Ferrars & York, an apartment building in Australia designed by local studio Six Degrees Architects.

Six Degrees Architects worked with property developer Hip V Hype to create the 22-apartment building, which occupies a narrow, challenging site alongside a Melbourne tram track.

While its design reflects the roof of the nearby historic South Melbourne Market, it also nods to the dual nature of its residential and industrial surroundings with a mixed material palette of concrete, wood and metal.

Ferrars & York is located next to Melbourne’s tram route

“The project is set to be a model of the potential for responsible use of underutilized land in our cities,” Liam Wallis, founder of Hip V Hype, told Dezeen.

James Legg, principal at Six Degrees Architects, added: “The use of concrete and steel is a nod to industry, while wood, tiles and stained glass provide the intimacy, warmth and craftsmanship more associated with low-rise housing.”

Taking advantage of the tight site, Ferrars & York is one spacious apartment, allowing each home to be dual aspect and benefit from black steel exterior walkways overlooking the street.

It features green concrete and wood facades

“The apartments were individually loaded with a corridor open to the street, connecting the building to the place while providing natural light and ventilation to the double facades of all the apartments,” Wallis explained.

“Not only do the open corridors provide the possibility of double-aspect apartments, resulting in better light and ventilation, but they also provide the opportunity for casual interaction between neighbors in a different environment to the usual blind, double-loaded corridor,” added Legg.

The building contains 22 apartments

To the west, the street-facing elevation of Ferrars & York is enlivened by a variety of shaded openings and battlements. Several entrances lead into the building, as well as a bike shop, parking and one retail unit.

“Instead of a blank glass or concrete facade, the street wall is felt by passers-by as an active community, with materiality and textures that suggest home,” Legg said.

Facing the tram tracks, the shorter sides of the building are more enclosed, with concrete facades finished in dark green wood panels.

In the public areas and apartments, the green color of the wooden elements is picked up by small areas of glazed tiles, wooden doors and window frames to bring warmth to the living spaces.

There is a roof terrace

On the upper floor, Ferrars & York’s serrated roof form was used to add additional height to the apartments.

At the south end of the building, a rooftop terrace features planting and an outdoor cooking area.

Wooden doors and window frames add warmth to interiors

Ferrars & York has been longlisted for the 2023 Dezeen Awards Housing Projects category.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, Australian architecture studio Carr recently completed a gridded concrete apartment building, and Kennedy Nolan created a residential building at Nightingale defined by ochre-coloured forms.

Photography by Tess Kelly.

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