Farmer Residences is a collection of four owner-occupied townhouses. Located a stone’s throw away from Richmond’s Swan Street. The urban fabric within the immediate site proximity displays a wide range of building types. This context hints at the area’s incremental evolution from primarily industrial buildings to narrow worker’s dwellings, double fronted dwellings and 1970s townhouse developments to contemporary multi-residential developments.
Site massing opportunities have been maximised to imbue a strong relationship between the proposed built form and Farmer and Cutter streets. The project extends the existing urban fabric; the form is designed to respond to each individual abutting boundary, producing a singular form, punctuated by subtle contextual references.
Existing materials common to the area include brick and render. Weatherboard external cladding features commonly amongst first and second storey lightweight structures. Our reinterpretation of this materiality and the local historic urban fabric has not been a literal response, but rather drawing on a collective memory of forms and materials, layered through subtle shifts of formal play, articulated with soft planting, timber, steel, masonry and concrete.
An example of this design response is evidenced through the new curved geometry of the first and second floor balconies, subtly referencing the existing curved parapet and wing wall of the adjoining terrace dwelling to the east. Employing a semi-sunken ground floor level, also ensured an alignment of the new second floor balcony balustrade with that of the neighbouring heritage dwelling’s parapet