The design of the Abito Apartments emerged from two primary considerations. Firstly, the historical context required a formal response that was sensitive to the streetscape. Secondly, the brief called for an environmentally sustainable design that went beyond the superficial. These considerations, combined with the proposed product mix of single bedroom studio apartments and affordable two bedroom apartments became the project’s starting point.

Observing the existing mix of both relatively high warehouses and low-level residential stock, it was clear that the building needed to modulate in scale, particularly from east to west. In addition the design response took inspiration from the Victorian convention of the slot laneway, which can be read a ravine running between narrowly separated building stacks. The design response adopted this ravine-like Victorian form, and put it to use as both a thermal chimney and a means to draw fresh air into the heart of the building’s plan.

The building’s modulated system of precast panels forms an abstract relationship with the surrounding modulated face brickwork: a connection that is further enhanced by the use of a red lime wash. Taken together the design of Abito recognises that both sustainability and heritage considerations can be engaged creatively, and in a manner that is intrinsic to a building’s material fabric.


RAIA Victorian Architecture Awards - Multi-Residential Architecture Award



Gross Floor Area:

35 apartments over 7 levels




Winward Structures / Edison Consultants

General Contractor:



John Gollings