Piccolo gets busy in Fitzroy

Adept at creating high-end residential projects, Piccolo Developments are chasing another for their portfolio by way of the redevelopment of a historic building at 71-75 Argyle Street, Fitzroy.

On the intersection of Fitzroy and Argyle Streets, Piccolo has submitted plans for the late 19th century brick factory and adjoining at-grade car park. The developer's hope is a 7 storey residential building created by Jackson Clements Burrows that would effectively wrap around the existing building.

In order to gain the nod from Yarra City Council, the application is required to adequately interact with the onsite brick building whose facade is "considered to be 'Individually Significant', meaning it is aesthetically, historically, scientifically, and/or socially significant at the local level and contributory or complementary to the South Fitzroy Precinct."

71 - 75 Argyle Street, Fitzroy. Planning image: JCB Architects

The 1,038sqm site is slated for 41 dwellings including 12 x 3BR apartments, 59 car spaces, 57 bicycle spaces and a 129sqm restaurant at ground level.

Also called for is the "Demolition of parts of the existing factory building including the circa 1930s-40s addition, parts of the original north and east walls and the roof." The Victorian factory facades to Argyle and Fitzroy Streets will be maintained, as will be the front corner returns to the side wall, the chimney and the painted signage along the east elevation.

Elwood House is approaching completion

Piccolo's Fitzroy pursuit joins an additional three residential projects in the works for the Carlton-based outfit.

Wood Marsh's spasmodic forays into higher density designs have resulted in 228-230 Dorcas Street. Piccolo describes the South Melbourne project as a "Landmark project designed by Wood Marsh incorporating luxury residential apartments and premium retail space."

Jackson Clements Burrows have a hand in the developer's remaining two projects. Construction is nearing completion on Elwood House; a bespoke residential project within Elwood Village that includes 31 apartments.

Also on the cards is 341-347 Queensberry Street North Melbourne, although a change to the application has been noted by City of Melbourne after initial plans called for a 13 storey building.


Bilby's picture

Those flanking black screen wall 'wings' not only dominate what is a very odd design for a so-called "high-end" development, but they appear to be built over the allotment line onto the footpath.

There is simply no way Yarra City Council (or VCAT for that matter) will accept such an approach. And if they are actually set in line with the existing building, why create such a hulking presence in the streetscape - the design is not unlike a spider hunching over its prey.

In that sense, it dominates and overwhelms the heritage place - not exactly appropriate regardless of other planning policy objectives for this site, which can easily be met with a more sensitive design approach.

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George D's picture

It looks fantastic. I hope it goes ahead.

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Rohan Storey's picture

I lived nearby for years and always admired this building ! Sadly the proposal does rather dominate it - a floor off the top (or much more setback), and side flanks the same height as the existing red brick facades would make it seem more like additions to an historic building rather than a historic facade trapped within a larger building. But heritage preservation of industrial buildings seems to be all about preservation of facades and much larger development on top / behind these days - the opposite of additions to historic houses, where very little new work is allowed to be seen.


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