This project poses a simple architectural question – what can one small shop and four apartments contribute to the life and vitality of the city?
Studios 54 is located between a large residential development to the north and a heritage listed corner pub to the south. The building forms a transition between these two distinctive scales, acknowledging the tight urban grain with its small footprint, yet seamlessly matching the bolder height of its contemporary residential neighbour.
Within a site area of approx. 126sqm, the project contains a commercial space on the street level, and four single floor apartments above. Each apartment is flexibly planned with a series of service pods on the southern facade that frame a long open plan space that runs from the front to the rear. This flexible plan arrangement offers a number of possibilities for occupation and would happily accommodate residential, home office and/or commercial uses. Each apartment achieves ample sunlight and ventilation, despite the heavily constrained urban context.
As urban housing, this project explores the myriad ways that a diverse range of unknown future occupants can inflect and individualize interior space to make a home. This deliberately equivocal interior character is contrasted with a more playful and definitive architectural presence in the urban realm.
The exterior of the building is formed from a palette of white materials with differing surface textures – comprising off-form concrete, textured rendered walls, matte ceramic tiles and glossy, vitrified panels. Against this plays a rich colour theme of red, blue, yellow and turquoise that celebrates the presence of individual occupancies through small scale details such as blinds, letterboxes and soffits.
The building is capped with a communal roof terrace – complete with planter beds that intermittently throw sprays of white flowers above the horizontal parapet line of the building.