australian practice architects EAT has recently completed the award-winning renovation of the fitzroy loft in a historical industrial building in the outskirts of melbourne. the 125-year old macrobertson chocolate factory offers a classical structure complete with saw-tooth roof, aging brick walls and concrete floors, much of which was covered up when converted into a residential building in the early 90’s.

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the plaza serves as the junction between the existing warehouse and the new glass structure
image © derek swalwell (also first image)

 

 

architects EAT worked to restore the original character of the industrial space while providing the comfort and warmth of contemporary living. three voids were strategically utilized/exposed in order to breathe new life into the space. the hung ceiling was removed to expose the dramatic height of the pitched roof, opening the clerestory to flood natural light into the home. white-stained wooden planks wrap the ceiling and some of the walls, forming a fluid material and texture which aims to reflect light as well as contrast the rough, worn textures of the original structural elements. the first void consists of the courtyard which functions as a back yard area. surrounded by windows and skylights, this area provides natural light to much of the home as a faux exterior patio. the second void separates the living areas from the bedrooms, forming a natural buffer zone for privacy. within this lofted area, a light-weight suspended bridge cuts through the double-height space, with a mesh floor that further accentuates its construction. the third void consists of a library at the very rear end of the house, where light from above is allowed to cascade across the shelves, highlighting the original timber columns and beams.

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the 2,100-seat arena is positioned at a height of 50 meters
image © derek swalwell

 

 

the home exhibits a perfect balance of old and new, with a muted and light-toned interior palette of colors that assures a bright space. weathered brick walls and rough-aged steel columns revitalize the structure’s history, harmonizing with the smoothness of new materials. steel framed windows work in conjunction with the clerestories for natural light ad cross ventilation. polished concrete floors restore the feel of the original building, also helping to further reflect light throughout the interior.

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the living area on the ground floor is illuminated by flanking voids whose skylights constantly provide indirect light
image © derek swalwell

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the courtyard space serves as a semi-outdoor space
image © derek swalwell

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a suspended steel bridge connects the bedrooms to the office and library space
image © derek swalwell

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the travertine walls conceal large barn doors that almost disappear into the background
image © derek swalwell

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the original structure is revealed to add texture and historical context to the home
image © derek swalwell

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retractable windows open the living area onto the courtyard
image © derek swalwell

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image © derek swalwell

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perforated c-channel beams and floor emphasize the bridge’s light nature
image © james coombe

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the master bedroom is characterized by thin steel members and a pitched roof
image © derek swalwell

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the bedrooms contain glass walls that open onto the courtyard space, natural lit by the skylight above
image © james coombe

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image © derek swalwell

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image © derek swalwell

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the library space at the rear enjoys a disconnected privacy and quiet
image © derek swalwell

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the front elevation maintains the structure’s original look and feel
image © james coombe

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