Australian architecture firm Edition Office has designed Fenwick, a building with a raw silhouette that blends seamlessly into the surrounding vegetation.
Edition Office has installed its latest project, Fenwick, on one of the banks of the Birrarung River, perched on an escarpment overlooking the river, not far from Yarra Bend Park in the Melbourne suburb of Kew. It was conceived as a “broken mass of three distinct forms” straddling a space between a residential street and a cliff. All volumes have been shaped and dimensioned to appear as a small, coherent series of buildings in the landscape.
Using a language of curves, the project is a meeting place between the three entities, creating pockets of entry and invitation. Meanders that allow daylight and shadow to drift and sculpt the built forms as the sun moves over the site. Still between the three volumes, vegetated corridors open up, allowing plants and vines to grow and drown out the outer walls, while the treetops filter light and views of the river and the landscape beyond.
Living spaces are open to the north, the river and the valley, and organized so that circulation paths link to these areas, while bedrooms and ancillary spaces are open to the green spaces between pavilions, glimpsed through copper mesh sails.
In terms of materials, the project echoes its cliff-top site, as well as the sobriety and purpose of the surrounding modernist houses of the region. Textured concrete in-shaped panels, raw copper and galvanised steel allow the project to age gracefully over time, gaining character as it slowly reflects the country in which it is set.
As for the landscaping, the intention was to absorb the building, as if to anchor it in the site. In this way, the building appears hidden by the thick vegetation that surrounds it.
Australia – Melbourne