The Age - The Workshop adds a new chapter to Collingwood's industrial history

Historic buildings abound in Collingwood, which gives new apartments a template fromm which to work.

The site at 77 Harmsworth Street harks back to 1908. Back then it was owned by Harry Evans, who sold it 60 years later to a metal merchant. It was then used as a mechanics workshop, hence the name of this new development.

Despite its history, the building is not heritage listed, giving DKO Architects more freedom in their design. Design director Jesse Linardi says the facade of the building will be kept to blend into Collingwood’s industrial style.

The Workshop Living

“Any insertion into that street fits more simply because we’ve got a building that was always there so rather than having a brand new four-storey building, it’s almost like an extension of the building,” he says. “A lot of time when you look at the extension on buildings, they make sense because they’re part of the fabric. So this is what the fabric is of that street and we’re adding on top of it, but accepting that this street has a character that exists today rather than a new interpretation of what that might be.”

Yet the Workshop still holds a surprise. Inside this development are 11 loft apartments with ceiling heights up to five metres.

“Most of the time it’s either a townhouse or a traditional apartment,” Linardi says.

“The main difference is that we’ve taken that idea and why that’s unusual in development is there are spaces within the building with double-height spaces.”

Immediately behind the facade rises the first of the lofts which feature an impressive cut-out design. Gardens will occupy these open spaces, softening the industrial edges.

Construction is expected to start midway through this year.

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