The Younghusband Woolstore urban renewal project in Kensington, Melbourne, is an innovative and sustainable redevelopment project that was designed by Woods Bagot, a leading global architectural firm. This project is situated in the vibrant suburb of Kensington, just a few kilometres north-west of the Melbourne CBD.
Located on the corner Chelmsford Street and Elizabeth Street, the project involves the adaptive reuse of the historic Younghusband Woolstore, which was built in the early 1900s and is a significant heritage building for Melbourne. The redevelopment project has transformed the Woolstore’s into a mixed-use development that includes residential, commercial, and retail spaces.
The project is being delivered over 3 stages as a joint venture partnership between Built, Ivanhoé Cambridge and Irongate, three property giants in Australia. Once complete, the project will feature over 56,00sqm of NLA, including A-Grade office, retail and residential offerings for the Melbourne market.
The residential component of the Younghusband Woolstore Redevelopment Project includes a mix of apartments and townhouses. The apartments are designed to maximize natural light and ventilation, with large windows and balconies that provide views of the city skyline. The townhouses are designed to integrate with the surrounding neighbourhood, with private gardens and outdoor spaces that provide a sense of community and connection.
The commercial and retail spaces within the development are designed to be flexible and adaptable, with high ceilings and an open-plan layout that can be customized to suit the needs of different businesses. The development also includes a range of amenities, including a gym, a rooftop terrace, and a communal garden. New feature blustone laneways will connect the spaces internally, with a central town square located in the heart of the precinct offering a space for people to meet, share, socialise, and connect.
The town square will connect to a new activated rail corridor, pedestrian walkway and bicycle pathway.
Woods Bagot principal Peter Miglis spoke of the design approach to the urban renewal project.
“The design approach is to ‘lightly touch’ the existing wool store buildings, respecting the past while providing contemporary interventions for the next evolution of the buildings’ life.” Said Miglis.
The Younghusband Woolstore redevelopment project is its sustainable design. The project incorporates a range of sustainable design elements and technologies, including energy-efficient lighting, rainwater harvesting, and solar power generation. The rainwater is collected from the roof and used for irrigation and toilet flushing, reducing the demand for potable water. The project also includes the use of sustainable building materials, such as recycled timber and locally sourced stone, which not only reduces the environmental impact of the development but also adds character to the building. The use of natural materials also provides a sense of warmth and comfort to the spaces.
Stage 2 of 3 stages has now been approved for the project which involves the transformation of the historic sawtooth-roofed redbrick warehouse with the addition of a new silo structure. The silo structure will be a unique feature of the development, providing additional residential and commercial spaces. The silo structure will require the demolition of Woolstore No. 5, to be replaced with the eight-storey feature tower. This will replace the original grain silo that was used as the main point for transporting grain stock during it’s farming rennaisance. The new silo has been architecturally designed to mimic the Woolstore’s heritage. The demolition of the existing building and approval of the height increase for the new silo structure were outside of the council’s heritage planning framework, however the approval has been given by the council, with the scale of the heritage retention seen as being “highly positive” for the urban renewal of the site.
The addition of the silo structure provides an opportunity for innovative and flexible design, with high ceilings and an open-plan layout that can be customized to suit the needs of different businesses and residents. The silo will include a mix of residential, commercial, and retail spaces, providing a vibrant and diverse community.
The Younghusband Woolstore Redevelopment Project is an excellent urban renewal example of sustainable and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings. It will transform the historic Woolstore’s into a modern and vibrant mixed-use development that is both environmentally responsible and socially connected.
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