Development plans for JMSN’s $25-million residential project in Melbourne’s inner north have been approved, clearing the course for a new exemplar of responsible development within the rapidly densifying suburb.
Located on Napier Street, Fitzroy, the 2,072-square-metre project, dubbed ‘ns277’, comprises ten premium and sustainable two- and three-bedroom apartments enveloping an internal courtyard.
Designed by Warren and Mahoney, the six-storey residence is inspired by townhouses seen in Paris and London, which are celebrated for the sustainable merits of their high-density, mid-rise typologies.
The approval marks a foundational milestone for the local development company, which was founded by Sam Jamieson, the son of Harry the Hirer founder Rick Jamieson.
JMSN acquired the site in 2022 for $4.5 million. Zoned for mixed-use development, the building’s façade extends to the fourth floor without a setback, a planning concession Jamieson says is key to responsible development in the area.
With Melbourne’s population set to swell, increasing debate surrounds the city’s ability to strike a balance between much-needed densification in middle-ring suburbs and overdevelopment.
Sam Jamieson said: “Fitzroy is a suburb that is densifying and needs to densify, but it can be done in a way that honours the existing neighbourhood and avoids overdevelopment.
“With ns277, we are looking to set a new benchmark of what that can look like, taking the learnings from Europe’s mature, urban cities and applying them in a way that is thoughtful and conducive to modern Australian lifestyles — an approach that will underscore all JMSN projects in future.”
Having worked in the family business for 15 years, Jamieson travelled the globe extensively to procure the temporary structures Harry the Hirer is recognised for, including the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival ‘Birdcage’ and marquees for iconic events such as the Australian Grand Prix and the Australian Open.
It was during his travels, particularly in Paris and London, where Jamieson cultivated an appreciation for European architecture and observed that its design principles could be better incorporated into Australian homes.
He said: “The evolution of inner city developments has seen many inspired by Brooklyn-style warehouse conversions, but in Fitzroy, a neighbourhood defined by its Victorian terrace homes, JMSN is exploring influences from Paris and London that better reflect local lifestyles and the aesthetic vernacular of the area.
“The brief for our architect was to take the form, flow and materiality of European architecture and add a distinctly modern Australian flair.
“It was important to pick up cues and best practice, but never about replication.”
European influences are identified in the Juliet windows, which allow for larger living spaces with the versatility of use in summer and winter.
Juxtaposing this, a contemporary curved entrance defines the ground floor, while concrete polished lintels offer a modern contrast to the classic textured brick façade.
Warren and Mahoney Principal Nick Deans said the sensitive design approach was considerate of the end user and surrounding neighbours.
He said: “This lot is located in a special part of Napier Street and the considered design of ns227 blends seamlessly into a neighbourhood of high-calibre developments.
“The design speaks directly to the Victorian vernacular of Fitzroy and has a feeling of solidity and timelessness about it.
“It’s a building that is good now and will only get better with age. All of the apartments are unique in layout, offer generous floorplans and delightful finishes, which are sure to create welcoming homes for owner-occupiers.”
An internal courtyard filled with greenery, a central water feature and arch windows will orient the residences, providing natural light, amenity and reducing the impact of shadow on neighbouring homes.
On Napier Street, window planter boxes will spill hardy and long-flowering geraniums, while an ivy will fill the facade in a nod to both London homes and the surrounding Fitzroy context.
Warren and Mahoney has delivered multiple residential projects in the area including The Spanish Club by GURNER.
Project managed by industry veteran John Jorgenson, formerly of Icon Construction, works are slated to begin in mid-2024.