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Architecture: 140 Brunswick Street High Rise, foyer upgrade

June 7, 2011

Harmer Architecture’s contemporary addition to a housing estate tower in Fitzroy provides a valuable new public space for residents.

This project was commissioned by the Office of Housing, the public housing division of the Department of Human Services which manages the high-rise estate improvement program in inner Melbourne.

The brief called for a foyer upgrade to one of the towers in the Atherton Gardens Estate, Fitzroy. This tower comprises 200 flats and needed a new foyer area, weather protected entrance plus ancillary spaces.

Our aim was to create a welcoming place for residents with more space and natural light. We also wanted to create places to sit inside and outside on the street side for people to wait or chat with other residents and passersby. The desire is therefore to link the tower with the busy street life and create a new public space for residents to the front of the entry.

Utilising the undercroft space under the tower we were able to expand the entry lobby and introduce a new glazed lift lobby extension, which looks out over the expansive estate gardens. Our overall aim was to create a new entrance that is of the standard and finish that one might expect to find in some more high-end Docklands or Southbank residential towers.

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