This project explored a new residential building typology for Hobart. Within the framework of a two storey Victorian terrace, 5 micro-apartments (25-30m²), and 1 small commercial tenancy have been inserted. The architecture is simple, clean, light-filled and low cost, satisfying both the developer's stringent criteria and the end users need for affordable, low impact urban living. 


2006             Royal Australian Institute of Architects
                    Residential - Alterations & Additions Award


“Tucked behind a nineteenth century shop house fa├žade in Hobart's CBD, a hint of colour and a bedside lamp are all that suggests the presence of the micro-scale studio apartments behind. Working within a tight budget and an even tighter building footprint, 1+ 2 Architecture have skilfully manipulated the insertion of six single room apartments, a retail gallery, car parking and a roof garden.

The architecture is an exercise in refined but restrained detailing, maximising both perceptual and physical space through light, colour and joinery. Two vertical light shafts provide relief in the centre of the building. In one, a lightweight steel, glass and timber access stair rises from a mosaic tile plinth to reveal a generous communal terrace overlooking Liverpool Street. In the other, the inclusion of bi-fold windows and a wash of colour to an otherwise bare concrete surface create an unexpected warmth and tranquility to the internal apartments.

The simplicity of the spatial and planning solution is complemented by a restrained colour and material palette. Overall the jury was impressed by the control exercised by the architects in this challenging project demonstrating sophistication in spatial, material, constructional, servicing and financial solutions without over-indulging in architectural trickery.”

2006            Royal Australian Institute of Architects
                   Environmental Design Award


“These studio apartments represent a new typology for urban living. With a dwelling area of approximately 25 square metres, the studios are less than one third of the average dwelling area per person in Australia. The environmental benefits of such a reduction in building footprint are numerous, encompassing resource consumption, embodied energy, operational energy, land use, and perhaps most notably in this instance, the absence of car parking for residential tenancies, reflecting the needs of an alternative urban dweller lifestyle.

While the client must be credited with the original vision for the project, the architects are also to be congratulated for the way in which they have embraced this project and for their skill in the architectural resolution.

The apartments are light and visually spacious for their footprint while joinery design has been cleverly integrated to maximise opportunities for storage space. Furthermore, the physical constraints of the individual apartments are offset by the provision of a generous communal roof terrace offering opportunities for social interaction between the single occupiers of the apartments.

ESD awards are generally based on the range and innovation of environmental features within a single architectural project. The jury were pleased to find that passive solar design and other environmental features were integrated in many of this year's projects, including the Liverpool Street Studio Apartments. However, in this case the jury has decided to acknowledge a project that challenges broader entrenched patterns of unsustainable development which to date have not received enough attention and which the architectural field is well positioned to address.” 

Images: Ray Joyce