Old Factory Building Converted into a Home for an Artist and Musician

- Advertisement -

Affordable + / Steffen Welsch Architects

Project: Affordable + / Old Factory Building Conversion
Architects: Steffen Welsch Architects
Location: Melbourne , Australia
Area 196 m2
Project Year 2016
Photographer: Wolf-Peter Steinheisser

This project is about recognising the spirit of a place. Located in Melbourne’s inner-city opposite a suburban train station this is a re-assembly of an old factory building to become a home with studios for an artist and musician.

kitchen, Affordable + / Steffen Welsch Architects

The original building formed an integral part of an urban neighbourhood but proved to be too deteriorated to be saved. After exploring options of retaining the existing structure we decided to partly demolish and rebuild the brick shell in its original form with the materials salvaged on site. A new first floor bedroom wing was inserted as a lightweight structure supported by a steel frame and defines the living area below. The studios were built as commercial spaces reduced construction cost.

dining room, Affordable + / Steffen Welsch Architects

Our approach of retaining the spirit of the original fabric continued into details. Unfinished materials were employed to create a non-precious environment that is easy to use and maintain.

interiors, Affordable + / Steffen Welsch Architects

The former stable and later print factory was purchased with the intention to renovate and turn it into studios and a house. Part of the building’s appeal that was its atmosphere, textures and patina expressing its history.

Old Factory Building Converted into a Home for an Artist and Musician

Careful investigation revealed that the building could not be saved with reasonable means and a conversion could not achieve required energy efficiency and thermal performance. Various options were explored: a new house design, prefabricated modular buildings but none suited the brief and made a valuable contribution to the urban fabric in this location.

Old Factory Building Converted into a Home for an Artist and Musician

The driver for our design concept was the contribution of the place to its immediate environment. This led to partially demolishing old walls and roof, removing the slab and rebuilding using the original bricks. Rebuilding enabled the new dwelling to achieve a good thermal performance while maintaining the tactile and aesthetic qualities of an aged structure. Parts of external wall and roof trusses (non-compliant under current structural codes), were kept, reinforced and merged into the aesthetic concept. The new program could be realised with modest and simple insertions and additions.

Old Factory Building Converted into a Home for an Artist and Musician

What were the key challenges?
What was thought to be a warehouse conversion on a tight budget turned into demotion and building a new home and studio on a tight budget.
In addition we wanted to incorporate best practice design and thermal performance on a modest budget into an aged structure, while retaining the building’s spirit of place and contribution to the community.

Old Factory Building Converted into a Home for an Artist and Musician

How is the project unique?
We made the most of what we could and re-assembled the old factory building with materials salvaged on site to make it structurally sound and more thermally efficient. We took down most of the walls, cleaned the bricks and put them back together again, reducing embodied energy as well.

Affordable + / Steffen Welsch Architects

One unique feature of our warehouse/studio/residence we are proud of are our approach to finishes. We wanted a place that is non-precious and accessible. It had to be ready for use: simple finishes, low cost, low maintenance. So we left materials rough or unfinished wherever we could. The concrete slab has a steel trowel finish, walls and ceiling are lined with plywood uncoordinated and unfinished, and some ceilings are made from polycarbonate, an off-the-shelf material. Kitchen joinery has black form ply, stainless steel benchtops and both raw and black-painted brick splashbacks.

Old Factory Building Converted into a Home for an Artist and Musician

On the other hand we didn’t skimp on insulation, double glazing and ESD features that make it comfortable and affordable to run.

Old Factory Building Converted into a Home for an Artist and Musician

Old Factory Building Converted into a Home for an Artist and Musician

plan 1

plan 2

plan 3

- Advertisement -

Grams Gård Farm House / Dive Architects

Grams Gård was built in 1851 and used as a farm until the 1980s by the Gram family. It is located in Österlen in Skåne. The farm is located on top of a small hill overlooking the sea; towards Hanö Bay beyond Simrishamn in the north and Bornholm is clearly visible to the south.

Wilson Residence by SPACE International

Formerly the site of a traditional Venice bungalow, this new 2 story residence respects the scale of the 3600sf parcel with an efficient organization of programs. The "shotgun" style ground floor plan is flanked by a linear courtyard which mirrors the interior social spaces and functions as an outdoor living room.

Mandeville Loft by Neil Davies Architects

Mandeville Loft was completed by Neil Davies Architects studio in Battersea, London, UK. Description by Neil Davies: An existing 1,400-square-foot office on the top floor...

Old Classic Viennese Apartment Modernized and Refurbished by Destilat

The Apartment E&E is more than just a conventional redevelopment of an old classic Viennese apartment; it is a statement about sustainable interior design. The concept’s central theme was to unite the consumption-critical lifestyle of the owner ...

Old Apartment in Greece Transformed into an Industrial Space with a Unique Style

The xt casa project is the result of the redesign of an old apartment in Ioannina. The proposal transforms the apartment into an industrial space with a unique style. The structural elements of the building have been used as the main spacial and aesthetic tool in order to define the space.

Maisonette House in Stuttgart / Ippolito Fleitz Group

This maisonette house belonging to two designers is a sensual collage of its owners' thoughts and memories. The project was completed by Ippolito Fleitz...

Restoring a Glass Pleasure Dome into a Glorious New Attraction

"Glass Pleasure Dome" is a renovation project completed by Barnes Vanze Architects in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Description by Barnes Vanze Architects: We had already worked with our clients...

L-Shape Weekend House by Dellekamp Arquitectos

This weekend house is created by uniting volumes to make an L shape with a covered roof. Patios are inserted into the longest volume, preserving pre-exiting trees on site, allowing vegetation to take over the project, and creating a house-in-a-courtyard (but a house without courtyards). In these ways, the house interweaves vegetation and explores the patio typology.

Old Farmhouse Converted into a Family Holiday Home

Tmolo House is an old farmhouse converted into a holiday home for a young family with four daughters. Designed by Pyo Arquitectos, the house is...

Black Shed / Mary Arnold-Forster Architects

The Black Shed by Mary Arnold-Forster Architects is built in Heaste, a linear crofting township lying to the south of Broadford, Skye.

Canopy House by Thellend Fortin Architects

The design of the Canopy House was inspired by the leafy hardwood forest originally found on this mountainside Laurentian site. Inside, its spatial configuration is inverted: bedrooms are closely connected to topography, while living areas on the ground floor take the form of spacious open volumes.