No capisce; Franco Cozzo to develop his Brunswick corner site

No capisce; Franco Cozzo to develop his Brunswick corner site
No capisce; Franco Cozzo to develop his Brunswick corner site

The doyen of dated furniture will chance his hand at apartment development.

Franco Cozzo, who will have an upcoming film made about his life and times, has applied to transform one of his two furniture outlets into an apartment complex. In the gun is Brunswick's 466-474 Sydney Road which Cozzo hopes will become the strip's latest modern incarnation.

Intersecting with Victoria Street, the site will see minor demolition and full restoration of the existing building's exterior, plus the reconstruction of previously demolished heritage elements.

Sitting behind under plans devised by Fender Katsalidis is a mid-rise building containing 32 apartments. Fittingly the project has been dubbed Franco Apartments.

466-474 Sydney Road application summary

No capisce; Franco Cozzo to develop his Brunswick corner site
Sydney Roads' complexion continues to change. Image: Fender Katsalidis
  • Site area: 777 square metres with 100% built form site coverage
  • 8 levels at 27.4 metres to roof line
  • 32 apartments: 10 x 1 bedroom, 15 x 2 bedroom, 7 x 3 bedroom
  • 298 square metres of retail space
  • 2 basement levels for 32 vehicles and 45 bicycles accessed via rear laneway
  • Apartment balconies ranging in area between 8-71 square metres
  • Rooftop terrace for future residents, including edible garden beds and an apiary

In the application, Fender Katsalidis pays homage to the site's history:

Recognising the presence of the Franco Cozzo establishment for over the last half century, the design responds to both cultural and architectural heritage aspects of the site.

The architecture seeks to maintain the identity of the existing heritage structure by retaining the street edge and setting back the proposed form over. This allows its heritage to be read as a volume, giving it the strength to play host to the building over.

Intertwining the landscape elements with the architecture from the onset, the façade proposes a series of dynamic layers through the creating of a hierarchy of features that are able to be altered by the occupants. These layers vary between hanging vegetation on trellises, suspended planter boxes and operable shutters to balconies.

Franco Apartments is set to be an exceptional design that is committed to creating a vibrant community and landmark on Sydney Road.

No capisce; Franco Cozzo to develop his Brunswick corner site
Cozzo Apartments in context. Image: Fender Katsalidis

Brunswick's pending development leaves Footscray's 54-58 Hopkins Street as the sole remaining Franco Cozzo outlet, although the Footscray site is also earmarked for development.

Having owned the Hopkins Street site for 50 years, Cozzo secured a buyer mid this year. Local developer Pelligra Group was reported as taking over the site, adding to its expanding portfolio of suburban renewal developments.

54-58 Hopkins Street has been identified as capable of handling 10 levels and is opposite the former Binks Ford site at 34 Cowper Street, which will be reborn as Cowper Residences. the tallest of its buildings is 10 levels.

No capisce; Franco Cozzo to develop his Brunswick corner site
Cozzo's signature pose in front of his Footscray shop. Image: Star Weekly

466-474 Sydney Road development team

  • Development plans: Fender Katsalidis Architects
  • Planning: Taylors 
  • Heritage Report: Bryce Raworth
  • Design Review: Morric Goding Accessibility Consulting
  • Traffic assessment: Ratio Consultants
  • Waste management: Ratio Consultants
  • Landscape Plans: Site Image Landscape Architects
  • Acoustic Report: Cogent Acoustics
  • Sustainable Management Plan: GIW Environmental Solutions

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a co-founder of He passed away on Thursday 8th of November 2018 after a battle with cancer. He was 37. Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer. One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades. In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.

Brunswick Apartments Fender Katsalidis

Comments (1)

Help contribute to the Urban community by leaving your comments about this article
What would you like to say about this project?
Rohan Storey's picture
Glad to see this image is different from the one in the papers, and shows the reconstruction of the missing gothic gables - though a bit funny that theyre just cut off behind; and they really should be red brick not painted i think.


Not helpful

Reply to this comment

What would you like to respond to this comment?