A new seven-storey apartment building will combine architecture and art, integrating artwork by Melbourne artist Steve Rosendale to its facades.

You and I is the latest creation of an award-winning design team consisting of Orbit Solutions Architecture and Carr Design Group, and ICD Property.

Located in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood, the building’s residential entry lobby will be face Mater Street while the main Smith Street façade will feature retail frontage. All materials, textures and colour palettes chosen for the project were selected to match the typical Smith Street style, fitting in with the surrounding urban landscape.

Smith Street marks the boundary between two inner-city Melbourne suburbs – Collingwood and Fitzroy – both of which are distinguishable by their creativity, bohemian fashion, community spirit, arts and culture, pubs, restaurants, bars, cafes and vintage clothing stores. Designed to fit in with the framework of this creative environment, the You and I project is features 63 modern one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Steve Rosendale with one of the artworks.

Steve Rosendale with one of the artworks.

A podium-level reflection garden is situated under the upper levels. These levels are mantled with linear vertical battens and provide both solar and visual control of the upper apartments.

The art panel, by local artist Steve Rosendale, was incorporated to the main façade to differentiate between Smith Street and Mater Street, reflecting the different streetscape and urban contextual conditions while embracing the suburbs’ eclectic and artistic history.

“There’s a strong urban subculture that appreciates street-art and so Steve Rosendale’s artworks elevate what is normally considered street graffiti and stencil work into high-end artistry on an unseen scale,” said Orbit Architecture creative director Chris Goss.

Exterior Facade.

Exterior Facade

The artistic concept was introduced at the initial design stages by Goss, who explained the team has done extensive research to find the best way to recreate Rosendale’s original artworks on the building’s facade.

“To actually replicate and construct Steve’s artworks we will integrate an unusual technique of curing graphic concrete to create an impression on at least one of the walls, and then express the detail of the other designs via perforated metal screens,” he said. “Rosendale’s pieces will be recreated by layering templates over slabs of graphic concrete in bas-relief and slowing down the drying time of sections of the concrete. Templates will be removed and the slabs will be water-blasted to remove the unset residue, then pieced together to create a seamless artwork piece.”

Communal Garden.

Communal Garden.

New cutting-edge techniques in design and manufacturing, experimenting with robust building fabrics such as perforated metal screens, have been incorporated to showcase the art on the façade.

“In the final product, the graduation of perforated gaps in the metal screen will coalesce to create textured pieces that are lit by ambient light. Given the task to activate an area that thrives with a host of permanent and passing community members, we had to ensure the overall design was naturally relevant to both the building and the precinct,” Goss said.

Interior – Living room area.

Interior – Living room area.

“Over the years this active mixing of cultures has resulted in an incredible injection of unique character to the area so we wanted to ensure we paid homage to this culture by creating an icon for Smith Street,” said ICD Property managing director Michael May. “Combining elegant internals with statement facades You and I is sensitive to the local environment and we envision the development becoming a centrepiece for the Collingwood community.”

While construction on the project has already commenced, the development is already nearly 80 per cent sold and it is expected to be completed by late next year.