Camperdown Warehouse

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  • 2020

  • Architectural
    Interior

Designed By:

  • Archer Office

Commissioned By:

Jon Christensen and Fina Christensen

Designed In:

Australia

This warehouse conversion creates a flexible three-bedroom residence within the raw concrete shell of what was once a carriage assembly factory. Each of the rooms open up onto a double height living volume that brings natural light and a sense of the outdoors deep into the interior.


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Kasia Werstak
Kasia Werstak
Kasia Werstak
Kasia Werstak
Kasia Werstak
Kasia Werstak
Kasia Werstak
Kasia Werstak
  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • Our Clients, Jon and Fina, purchased this unusual space with a vision to create something special. They recognised that its generous, industrial proportions, and noisy main road address presented a challenge but also an opportunity. A young couple, they briefed us to create a home for them that allowed the feeling of a generous apartment for two, while providing a second bedroom for friends and family to stay, and space for a home office. This brief led us to consider the potential for a new, ‘loose-fit’ apartment typology that could be readily adapted to support changing uses over time.

  • The apartment is planned around a double height interior ‘courtyard’, with all rooms opening onto this shared space. This allows the apartment to function at various times as a single generous volume, or as a series of separable compartments that offer both visual and acoustic privacy. Partitions and infills, including the glass bridge that spans across the living room, are all designed to enable the full volume of the space to remain legible. Internal partitions are glazed to bring natural light from the northern elevation deep into the plan and into the bathrooms, which in turn glow in the evening.

  • As population growth and land values increase pressure on people’s ability to live near their preferred work and lifestyle, we must consider residential models that can accommodate diverse and changing demographics. While terraces, usually built in the first instance as a row of identical dwellings, have a long tradition for allowing adaptive reuse to deliver radical diversity within the constraints of their side walls, from share housing to family homes and home offices, apartments continue to be built to prescriptive 1, 2 and 3 bedroom types. We advocate through this project for approaches that can adapt to suit changing needs.

  • This project was optimised and refined through the close collaboration of Client, architect, engineers, builder and various trades. Every element was optimised for performance to deliver a lean project to tight tolerances. The entire structure is supported from the lower floor slab. Steel ribs, and the shelving in between, all form an integral part of the supporting structure. Double joists span over the kitchen, and a 110mm thick CLT floor between stacked bedrooms (only just) delivers the required 2400mm height to each room. The design was made cost effective by considering the scope and sequencing of trades, and making use of only a few trades to deliver most of the project, particularly steel, carpentry and glazing. Following demolition, the steel contractor set up the entire framework for the project, before any other trades arrived, allowing tight control of setout. Consolidation of elements was key the maintaining efficiencies. The kitchen operates around a single large bench, also framed in steel, that consolidates all cooking and plumbing appliances, while forming a communal social hub. This 130m2 project was delivered to a lean budget of $325,000 ($2500/m2)