An Overnight Solution To Melbourne’s Housing Squeeze?

  • December 18th, 2015

Words from The Age –

One day a Melbourne apartment building had six storeys. The next day it had eight.

An extraordinary construction project in St Kilda has highlighted a possible quick way to accommodate Melbourne’s growing population.

Owners of the Adina Apartment Hotel building on popular Fitzroy Street wanted to add eight more apartments to the roof, without disturbing its paying guests for too long.

The solution saved them $500,000 in construction costs alone, as well as a year or more of noisy building at their business.

Western-suburbs builders Modscape made the modular apartments complete with toilets, light globes, ovens, stove tops and calcutta-stone benchtops in their Brooklyn factory in 16 weeks.

They installed them in less than a day.

All the commotion drew quite a crowd of curious guests and passers-by

Mr Gyrn said it was the third project the company had done to add height to an existing building and certainly the biggest.

“There is huge opportunity for building owners to capitalise on the airspace above their buildings,” Mr Gyrn said. “If there is capacity to take additional floors, it seems a waste to demolish and start again for the sake of something taller.”
Modscape has four more similar projects lined up for next year in South Melbourne, Brunswick and the CBD.

“Medium scale development and infill housing is a huge market, particularly if we can find ways to do it efficiently, cheaper and without inconveniencing existing residents,” he said. “Changes to the planning scheme allow for higher density development along main arterials into the city.”

While the build was quick, it took six months at Port Phillip council to get the necessary planning approvals for the Adina extension.

It also took several weeks to redesign the architectural drawings to suit prefabricated modular construction.

The new rooftop apartments have uninterrupted views of Port Phillip Bay and the city skyline. They are set back from the frontage and wrapped in zinc shingle cladding to differentiate them from the rest of the building.

Words from The Age –