The design details: Architectus discuss the design principles of Ryrie Home at Geelong

"Ryrie Home has drawn upon the history of Geelong and its architectural vernacular. The robust materiality and strong compositional order of the brick woolstore are defining markers of the city character and are considered through our podium scale and design"

The design details: Architectus discuss the design principles of Ryrie Home at Geelong
Ryrie Home, Geelong. Image: Supplied

Ryrie Home, the latest development from Franzé Developments, is set to deliver Geelong’s first major hotel and apartment project in 20 years.

The development will deliver a landmark Holiday Inn tower, 16 luxury apartments at Ryrie Residences, and a separate 11-storey tower, Ryrie Home.

Ryrie Home encapsulates timeless style, giving you the perfect canvas to make your new home your own in Geelong.

We recently spoke with the principal architect Oliver Mayger at Architectus to discuss the luxury development.

MK: How many residential projects have Architectus done in Victoria?

OM: Nationally we have completed approximately 25. The residential sector in Victoria is relatively new, with focused growth over the past six years. 

In Victoria, we have completed three, currently have three under construction, and 18 in the design stage.

MK: What spoke to you about Ryrie Home in particular?

OM: Primarily the opportunity to propose a higher density living typology outside of the City of Melbourne, and to create a new mixed-use precinct, and public realm, which keyed into and capitalised on Geelong’s Cultural Precinct.

MK: What was the brief from Franzé Developments for the mixed-use development?

OM: A contemporary Architectural response, providing diverse living typology’s from one to four-bedroom apartments and a new hotel, all capitalising on the stunning views across Corio Bay and the Botanical Gardens

MK: Where did you take your inspiration from? 

OM: Geelong is a city with a rich heritage of prominent buildings that mark the corner of intersections and are recognisable meeting points. These buildings define the structure of the central city grid and are typically characterised with increased height, a chamfered corner to the building mass and a canopy at street level.

The repurposing of this site is another example of Geelong’s transition from a primarily agricultural and manufacturing base to a centre for services and innovation. The site’s vision is to embrace and support this new direction whilst celebrating what Geelong was built on.

The material choices and façade articulation are a nod to the strength and robustness that define Geelong’s character and its legacy of craftsmanship and quality.

Ryrie Home has drawn upon the history of Geelong and its architectural vernacular. The robust materiality and strong compositional order of the brick woolstore are defining markers of the city character and are considered through our podium scale and design.  

Automotive production underpinned Geelong’s economy for almost 90 years, with the first Model T rolling out of an improvised wool storage warehouse in 1925. That history has left a legacy of metal manufacturing and craftsmanship that is reflected in the upper levels of the proposal.

MK: How important is the choice of materials in a project such as this?

OM: Critical, our work is always aspiring to be contextual and of its place.  The study of materials and textures and neighbourhood scale within the precinct and the city of Geelong informed a material palette and strategy for addressing all components of the building.

An authoritative and restrained grid is articulated on every façade in various but consistent compositional forms. This element assists in referencing the central Geelong building street wall presence. 

The formal motive and materiality of the street wall creates a composition that is considerate of a human experience of its scale. The hand-laid brick element also binds the different programs together and creates a notion of material consistency in the proposed building.

MK: Which part of the project are you most looking forward to seeing when completed?

OM: We have created a new public connection through our site from Ryrie Street to Cuzens Place, driving our built form response and allowing us to activate these resulting laneways and edges with commercial retail and F&B spaces aswell as the hotel and residential lobbies.  

This new lane connects visually with the existing connections through to Johnstone Park and reinforces the pedestrian connectivity through to the foreshore. 

We are keen to see these spaces activated and hope they enable additional pedestrian connections from our site to the south through to Fenwick Place and Little Ryrie Street

Max Kwok

Max Kwok

Max Kwok is a staff contributor at urban.com.au. Based in Sydney, Max has previously worked at Property Observer where he specialised in content creation and editorial research.

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