Tandem tackles a tight Ferrars Street site

Tandem tackles a tight Ferrars Street site
Tandem tackles a tight Ferrars Street site

An oddly placed and shaped sliver of land is up for development as City of Port Phillip processes an application for 195-199 Ferrars Street.

Tucked up against a light rail embankment and bound by Ferrars Street and City Road, the narrow site is now subject to a 10 level residential building looking to replace what was the Python Choppers Motorcycle Company digs. The site falls between the South Melbourne Central Activity Centre and Fishermans Bend.

The irregularly shaped and effectively isolated plot holds a roughly 50 metre frontage to Ferrars Street, with little more than 10 metres to City Road.

Tandem Design Studio have handled the design on behalf of 195 Ferrars Street Pty Ltd.

195-199 Ferrars Street application summary

Tandem tackles a tight Ferrars Street site
Versus draft planning controls. Planning image: TANDEM
  • Site area: 594sqm
  • Proposed: 10 storey building plus rooftop terrace at 34m to lift overrun
  • 47 apartments: 27 x 1BR, 18 x 2BR, 2 x 3BR
  • 26 apartment types on offer
  • 21 parking spaces and 21 bicycle bays
  • Double storey 228sqm cafe + 140sqm office space
  • Estimated cost of development: $16m

Design aspects

Tandem Design Studio have referenced a handful of South Melbourne buildings and their heritage brick character as influencing the Ferrars street design. Corten steel, glazing and concrete play secondary roles behind the application's use of brick.

The subject site presents an opportunity to realise architecture deeply embedded in the past, present and future.

Our proposal for 195-199 Ferrars Street acknowledges this rich masonry architectural heritage by choosing brick as its primary material. This choice displaces the current practice of sheathing buildings in glass, reducing embedded energy, heat loads and adding thermal mass.

This banded treatment benefits apartments, creating freedom for furniture placement, enhancing privacy and the opportunity to build in terrace gardens and planted edges.

Tandem Design Studio: Design Statement

Internally the development intends to create 26 separate apartment types with 97% of the included apartments subject to natural cross ventilation. The wide, narrow site leads to apartment floorplates that have been designed to capture as much light and natural ventilation as possible.

It is noted that 17 apartments comply with Better Apartments Design Standards, with the balance falling marginally short of the standards.

Tandem tackles a tight Ferrars Street site
Street level perspective. Planning image: TANDEM

CoPP responds

Upon assessing the initial application, City of Port Phillip have noted some concerns with the proposal, although the major point of contention related to the building's scale and height.

Town planning consultancy Contour have countered by noting that the site has no sensitive interfaces, based upon its isolated position. Further to this the area directly opposite within Fishermans Bend is the Montague Precinct which is subject to developments spanning up to 18 levels.

195-199 Ferrars Street landed with Council just prior to the new year.

Tandem Design Studio Apartments Design South Melbourne


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