Clifton House comprises 33 generous apartments over five levels. The project is situated at a prominent junction between ‘warehouse’ and ‘residential’ architecture in Clifton Hill. Consequently, it serves as a mediator at both an urban, massing scale, and at a finer, tactile scale, reinforcing and enhancing the significance of this important heritage precinct.
Constructed to the street boundary for three levels, and stepping down and back where appropriate, the building’s massing engages in a dialogue with the neighbouring ‘warehouse’ architecture. The robust street-facing façade maintains an active presence through a generous interplay of solidity, windows, terraces, and balconies. The lighter, set-back fourth and fifth levels are largely hidden from view and are integrated within a sawtooth roof, reinterpreting the surrounding industrial rooflines.
Clifton House’s material palette offers durability, long lifespan and reduced environmental impact, as well as providing a tactile and human scale. Recycled red facing brickwork is carefully detailed to be modern and distinctive, whilst directly referencing the typical heritage brick buildings in the area. Exposed concrete, natural metal standing seam and black metalwork details, including steel windows, are also employed.
The apartment sizes vary from efficiently designed single-bedroom dwellings to generous duplex units with double-height living spaces. The building is grounded in the neighbourhood; ground floor private decks are thoughtfully elevated above the pavement to ensure privacy, whilst being directly accessed from the street, encouraging interactions with neighbours and passers-by. The communal roof garden further fosters social interaction.
Within the dwellings themselves, the internal ceiling heights of 2.95m, ample natural light and ventilation, and superior quality internal finishes, including polished concrete floors, all contribute to an enhanced level of internal amenity. Additionally, external shading on north and west-facing glazing and planters with climbing vegetation across the façade reduce reliance on mechanical cooling.
While Clifton House unapologetically embraces a contemporary architectural approach, it successfully addresses the need for higher density inner-city living within historically sensitive urban neighbourhoods.