Melbourne townhome of the week: Hampden by RMA, Armadale

Melbourne townhome of the week: Hampden by RMA, Armadale
Melbourne townhome of the week: Hampden by RMA, Armadale

If there was just one word to epitomise the design of Hampden by RMA, it would be elegance. From it's considered and pared-back material palette to the timeless arched window frames and striking curved facade, the development fits seamlessly within its existing neighbourhood context, while also bringing a fresh and unique approach to multi-residential design.

I recently had the privilege of catching up with award-winning architect Rob Mills, who shared some insight into the origin of the Hampden by RMA design.

Melbourne townhome of the week: Hampden by RMA, Armadale

Urban.com.au: Where did you draw inspiration for Hampden by RMA from?

Rob Mills: We’re residential architecture specialists; we’ve been designing high-end and award-winning private residences for 30 years now. The same inspiration for those residences has informed our approach to the design of Hampden by RMA – that is, we design for great living. The project demonstrates all the hallmarks of Rob Mills Architecture and Interiors; intelligent design, healthy materials, crafted textures, enduring value, rich character and an intrinsic connection to land and location – in this case a coveted pocket of Armadale, just a short stroll by the village life of High Street.

We’ve drawn upon our knowledge of single residences and apartment projects to create a building that is technologically advanced, sustainable and healthy to live in, for generations.

Melbourne townhome of the week: Hampden by RMA, Armadale

U: What were the top 5 features you decided had to be included in the development and why?

RM:

1. The arched windows

There are many examples of arches in Armadale where they have been used to create verandas, window openings, shopfronts and so on. I think there's something that really resonates when you see an arch. It's quite a soft design element. It's inviting, it's very familiar. I was also influenced by the Fendi headquarters in Rome, which is a contemporary commercial building made entirely of arches.

Melbourne townhome of the week: Hampden by RMA, Armadale
Fendi Headquarters, Rome. Credit: Bloomberg

2. The brickwork

We've purposely chosen to construct the building with bricks. It's a traditional material and it's durable. Bricks also have fantastic thermal qualities, and they have a lovely texture and colour.

3. The space

I believe today space is a great luxury. We chose to make each residence with three bedrooms, spacious living areas and large kitchens with butler pantries. Here you have all of the key elements that you'd find in a traditional family home. A place where you and your family and friends can gather and enjoy long Sunday lunches, with kids running around. A lot of apartments today don’t give you that sense of openness or room to move – something that’s more important today than ever before.

4. The light

At this point in our career, we are striving to design interiors that are really full of sunlight, warmth, and happiness. We purposely chose a soft palette where the sunlight can be one with the interior. And together they combine and create a lovely, warm glow.

We want to design spaces that fill you with joy.

5. The window reveals

The depth of the window reveals is very reminiscent of a more traditional building. We've chosen a depth of the arches to shelter the windows from the rain and the sun, without needing awnings, blinds and so on. So the building ends up pared back to its absolute minimum of just brick and glass. There's a real purity to this; your eye doesn't wander from one thing to another.

Melbourne townhome of the week: Hampden by RMA, Armadale

U: What do you think buyers love most about Hampden by RMA?

RM: The opportunity to work directly with an architect who is also delivering the project is rare. At Hampden by RMA, we’re taking the time to talk with purchasers and discover how they live, and what style of home they prefer, and so on. That way we can not only ensure the designs truly meet their needs and tastes, we can also work with them to hand-pick furniture and artworks if required.

It’s the same process which go through when we create the interiors in single residences; it’s part of RMA’s holistic offering which includes styling as well as architecture and interior design. It’s a real luxury, and it makes a real difference to the finished home and the quality of life.

Melbourne townhome of the week: Hampden by RMA, Armadale

U: If you had to choose your favourite aspect of the building, what would it be?

RM: It would probably be the sense of ‘belonging’. Melbourne’s residential character is defined by its landscape and its wide tree-lined streets. Hampden by RMA is built within one of these leafy environments. Being larger than its neighbours, we softened its scale with vertical greenery, space for large trees to grow, as well as lush gardens at the ground level.

As an architect I always strive to make a contribution to our landscape, and to design a building that is new, fresh and unexpected – and yet which belongs. The way in which this building has been embraced by the community, and prospective residents, tells me we have achieved this.

Melbourne townhome of the week: Hampden by RMA, Armadale

U: What makes your project stand out from other properties on the market?

RM: As proud as I am on the architecture, I believe it’s the method we are delivering this building which is unique. Rather than the standard ‘design and construct’ model which allows substitution and the architect becoming an employee of the builder, Hampden by RMA employs a traditional procurement method, which allows us to manage all aspects of the project in-house, end-to-end. That means we can truly cradle the integrity of the design and deliver upon our promises to the purchaser, from first sketch to final handover.    

Melbourne townhome of the week: Hampden by RMA, Armadale

Olivia Round

Olivia Round

Olivia Round is the Features Editor of urban.com.au. Olivia specialises in news reporting, in-depth editorial content and video + podcast interviews with industry experts.

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