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Footscray Central Activities District (2010)


Building Two (B2) at FCAD offers a rich overlay of types of residential such as student and affordable housing as well as owner/occupier accommodation, small-office-home-office (SOHO), and amenities such as a childcare centre, newsagency, delicatessen and other assorted retail.


The building offers a background whose components are playful, yet discernible and familiar. Here, forms seem to be carelessly and randomly arranged. This 'careless arrangement', is in fact carefully orchestrated. The orientation and views from the apartments are maximised, while the forms are arranged to accentuate corners and increase gradually in scale across the site. Materials are carefully selected for their robustness and to amplify the contrast between these elements.


Rather than express a singular, heroic form, which might typically be expected of a residential tower, B2 is fragmented into a composition of elements whose scale does not seem foreign to Footscray and its surrounds. This playful distribution of simple forms offers a distinctive silhouette to the Footscray Central Activities District. It is less an imitation of the historical and urban context; rather it is a simplification of signifying forms, recombined in the way a child might illustrate the key features of an element without need for verisimilitude. The effect is a vibrant and diverse community of forms and material, all contributing to the creation of a place that is evocative and integral to the urban character of Footscray.