Location145 Queensberry St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
Client 2Abacus Property Group
Text description provided by the architects. Located at 139 Queensberry Street, Carlton, The Eminence is nestled geographically and architecturally between the macro scale of Melbourne’s CBD and the fine grain streetscapes of suburban Carlton. The Eminence interprets and is inspired by both, finding a language that mediates between them.
The brief from the client was to “design an apartment building that people want to live in.” With this simple goal Plus Architecture set out to design spaces to call home at a time when small, investor focused apartments were the prevailing market trend.
The overall architectural expression of The Eminence is one of calmness and rhythm, stability and clarity. Where the building meets the ground, there are moments of humour and play that talk to human scale and the archetypal yet renowned Melbourne laneway experience. The theme of ‘home’ is represented through the perforated house motif girding the lobby entrance, providing a unique internal waiting space. This motif is continued through the alley around the side of the building, with a mix of street art and house structures clad in Corten (serving a double purpose of shielding building services) bringing the alley to life.
At street level, The Eminence communicates effortlessly and playfully with the typical two to three storey Carlton streetscapes, while the residential tower structures are overlaid with the form and overall scale of the city.
The design includes three story feature precast columns and halo beams reminiscent of the classic Victorian architecture that features so prominently in the Carlton landscape. Installation of the facade proved challenging for the construction team who describe how the intricacy of the design, including the protrusion and staggering of columns, required considerable deliberation to achieve the architects’ vision of seamless three storey columns.
With a focus on creating homes for a truly mixed community, The Eminence features a mix of one, two and three-bedroom dwellings, catering to students, first home buyers and owner-occupiers. This inclusive community is drawn together by a spacious, welcoming rooftop space with stunning views.
Complete with a welcoming entry lobby with lounge and fireplace, this development comprises 193 apartments and two retail spaces over 15 storeys, designed as three towers along a corridor axis. By designing a three-tower structure, the architects created light-filled corridor spaces and open yet private apartments for all occupants, welcoming and positioning between the busy CBD and Melbourne’s vibrant inner-north.