Fitzroy Fire Station Apartments

Exuberant colour and vitality that characterises the spirit of Brunswick Street Fitzroy.

Fitzroy Fire Station Apartment development is located on a triangular site fronting St Georges Road and abutting parklands on both sides. The scheme consists of two apartments located in the historic fabric of the old fire station with a new wing built to the rear which houses car parks at ground floor level with eight apartments on two levels above.

The complex enhances the historic presence of the Fire Station by setting the new development back from the front facade and maintaining a compatible height and bulk. The existing fire truck entry doors off St Georges Road are retained to provide two car parks for the two front apartments with the central door providing pedestrian access, via an elegant foyer containing a curved staircase lit by a glass roof, to the rear apartments.

In keeping with the typology of Fitzroy, the apartments are built to the edge of the site and provide the “supervisionary eyes” over the park, enjoying direct sunlight as well as outstanding views to the city skyline. All have access to their own balconies. The north façade contains the sculptural curved bays of the bedrooms as a reference to the wheat silos across the park and is separated from the old section by the inclusion of a courtyard at ground floor level and a balcony at first floor level.

At the western point of the site a red ‘firemans pole’ is used to discharge stormwater and provides a cursory acknowledgement of the previous use of the site. A podium of brickwork at ground floor level with slit openings address the issue of graffiti as well as breaking down the scale of the project. The openings in the brickwork also allow views to be maintained through the building thus visually linking the park on both sides.

The south facade contains recessed tiled surfaces to provide depth and visual relief to the building. The off white rendered walls provide a suitable background to highlight the colours of grass, sky and the citrus coloured concrete columns aimed at catching the interest of the passing motorist. The columns together with the elevational treatments are a direct reference to the exuberant colour and vitality that characterises the spirit of Brunswick Street Fitzroy.

Project Completion: 1997