Mixed development “shop-top”

Multi-pronged commercial and residential development that retains a heritage façade.

Following a few successful years of trading in inner city South Melbourne, we took a leap of suburban faith and embarked on a complex development in the main strip of fashionable Elwood.

Realising that architects do not need valuable ground floor exposure, we proposed a separate retail space to the ground floor, studio to the first floor and a second floor residence which could also be used as overflow office area should the need arise.

Elwood Office Kitchen 1 683x1024, Michael Ellis Architects

As this was the first development of its kind in this part of Elwood, we overcame some objections by a few determined neighbours and successfully secured planning permission while avoiding VCAT. We were responsible for all planning liaison with the Responsible Authority – this is the case with most of the work undertaken in the City of Port Phillip and City of Bayside.

Overall, we have created a building built for the long haul in terms of its exposure to the nearby coastline, investment streams and workability. At most, the project provides retail, office space and residential space while respecting the heritage of the area. This project proved it is possible for an architect to wear the hat of a developer.

The project won a certificate of commendation in the 2009 Dulux colour awards for best commercial interior.