Wulff Projects set to launch Patch, Fitzroy North

Wulff Projects set to launch Patch, Fitzroy North
Laurence DragomirAugust 2, 2015

Patch at 243 Queens Parade is set to become the first project launched under the Wulff Projects brand, when it gears up its sales and marketing campaign during September. Director Adam Wulff's strategy is to target purely local buyers with the project set to be sold via traditional retail means with no marketing offshore; typical purchasers are expected to live with a 5km radius of the project.

Providing 76 apartments over 11-storeys and featuring ground level retail, the Fieldwork-designed building is an excellent case-study in small footprint living with the smallest apartment a single bedroom dwelling with an internal area of 45sqm. These one bedroom apartments in particular are aimed at first home buyers looking to enter the market.

Wulff Projects set to launch Patch, Fitzroy North
1 bedroom apartment layouts. © Wulff Projects

The development also features eight 3 bedroom apartments or 12% of the total number of apartments, which is generally considered to be a disproportionate number in a building of its size. Wulff Projects made a conscious decision to target families, and so created a product which caters to that particular demographic while also being an attractive prospect to the down-sizer market from within the locale.

Wulff Projects set to launch Patch, Fitzroy North
Typical 3 bedroom apartment layout. © Wulff Projects

Patch's form is best described as a 'lozenge' in plan with the intended aim to maximise views and natural light to apartments, while simultaneously dealing with setbacks to site boundaries. The main building form or 'tower' element is encased in a white precast concrete skin that features a vertical rib profile with quartz aggregate mixed through that will "shimmer".

Complemented by operable bi-fold screens of white vertical aluminium blades which emphasise the verticality of the development, Patch will also see timber soffits to the recessed balconies. The base employs a charcoal brick with timber clad shutters, drawing upon the local context in reference to the warehouse typology of the area.

One of the inspirations for the project was the Museum of Contemporary Art by SANAA in New York; its simplicity and restrained architecture stood out to Adam Wulff and acted as a point of reference.

The two level podium is designed to subtly reference a warehouse typology of the context while the ground floor pedestrian interface is improved by the addition of a streetscape canopy. The upper form is conceived as a crystalline sculptural form which sits lightly above. A shadowline level is set back from Queens Parade and painted black in order to create the impression the upper form is floating above the podium.

Fieldwork Design Report
Wulff Projects set to launch Patch, Fitzroy North
Patch hero shot. © Wulff Projects

Patch has also been designed to a very high ESD standard 4 star green star in addition to an above average 7 star energy rating. Large private and communal decking draws residents outdoors, while natural timber cladding and planters soften the facade. The design is driven by fundamental principles including a strong emphasis on internal amenity, privacy, light and air access, equitable views lines, and communal outdoor and indoor facilities.

Communal outdoor areas are located atop of Level 8 and on the rooftop, with both providing various landscaping opportunities. These create new vantage points and spaces for gathering for residents. On the podium level (Level 2) there are significant private landscaped terraces.

We appreciate and value good design. Our projects have a strong ESD focus particularly those in the inner urban north - we value internal amenity, so no borrowed light. There's a consistent theme around landscape and generous landscape in our projects. For us it's not about squeezing as many apartments onto a site to maximise the yield, there's other factors which we value and appreciate and aspire to achieve.

Another theme that we aspire towards and is certainly a key driver for Patch is the sense of community and interaction with your neighbours. One of the hallmarks is this large communal terrace on level 8 as well as a common kitchen - so say you have a 1 bedroom apartment and it's 50sqm , you have access to and can book the communal facilities through the body corporate.

Likewise on the rooftop where we intend to have veggie gardens which will hopefully foster a real sense of community.

Adam Wulff

Adam believes as the apartment market continues to evolve, prospective purchasers have become more savvy and knowledgeable; no longer simply buying a property based solely on a plan on paper. They are placing greater emphasis and value on ESD initiatives and communal areas which has translated in the types of developments Wulff Projects are embarking upon.

A further feature of projects like Patch is the desire to appeal and reach out to predominantly the owner-occupier market, a byproduct of which is that the more sophisticated investors will follow both in terms of off the plan and in future resale values.

Wulff Projects and the design team at Fieldwork have aimed to ensure that Patch remains sympathetic and responsive to the existing context while being mindful of the changing nature of the area and the likely higher density development which will eventually surround it. Ultimately they hope the project is considered as "an exemplar of high quality design and sustainable apartment living which engages with its context in a sensitive and exciting way."

Key project features

  • 4 star Green Star
  • No borrowed light to apartments
  • Diversity of apartment types
  • Highly articulated sculptural form
  • Considered building response to existing and future context
  • Large internal and external communal areas including landscaped terrace spaces
  • Dynamic operable facade skin
  • Activated vertical circulation
  • Sensitive retail streetscape interface
  • Street level improvements

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.

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