This month we catch up with Pace of Collingwood’s lead architect Beaudene Fulwood from SJB, one of Australia’s foremost architectural firms. The multi-award winning practice is the perfect design partner for our Pace of Collingwood (POC) project.
With an intuitive sense of place, community and confidence, SJB designs often challenge convention, eschewing the commonplace in favour of thoughtful approaches that broaden our perspective on contemporary design. Beau has brought all of this and more to POC, infusing an ambitious new design with the heart and soul of Collingwood.
After graduating from Melbourne University with a Master of Architecture, Beau, at age 29, was the youngest associate to be appointed at SJB Architects Melbourne. The influence of an early tenure with Woods Bagot in Thailand can be seen within many of his designs that integrate outdoor spaces with modern living.
Beau has led three of our projects to date and he still surprises us with his creative ingenuity and foresight!
What inspired you to pursue a career in architecture?
According to my parents I was showing interest in architecture at 5 years of age. My father was a builder and I grew up on construction sites sitting in site sheds pouring over the architect’s plans. I've always been fascinated by buildings and creating spaces for people.
When designing for a location like Collingwood, what are your key considerations?
Places like Collingwood have a strong character and identity and it is important to acknowledge and create a design that will be a positive addition. You want the building to be identifiable in order to grab the attention of a potential purchaser or passer-by but it also needs to be harmonious within its context. It needs to belong.
The Collingwood location allows for a building design that is bold and playful; exploring contrasting brick colours with a vibrant bronze metallic top. It is inspired by the existing materiality of the neighbourhood, which is then re-interpreted to create a new identity. The elevated pocket park also draws inspiration from the surrounding, tree-lined streets and compact green spaces hidden around the neighbourhood.
What did you enjoy most about working on this project?
Apart from the client team (a given!), it would have to be the opportunities and constraints the site presented. As architects, we love a challenge. The site is long and narrow with a steep fall and we wanted to minimise overshadowing to the public realm. The angled, metal clad top to the building is a signature aspect of the design but it also aligns with the angle of the sun to ensure the maximum amount of sunlight reaches the pedestrians below.
How are the residences different to the standard apartment stock available across Melbourne’s inner precincts?
The size and character of the building suits this area of Collingwood and what we believe the market is after. If people want to live in one of 500 apartments they would look to an apartment tower in Southbank. In Collingwood, people want to be a part of a smaller building with an identifiable character with the right balance of internal and communal amenity.