What Looks Like a Single Dwelling in Melbourne Actually Holds Six Walk-Up Apartments

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Located in the suburb of Richmond in Melbourne, Australia, Coppin Street Apartments consists of five one-bedroom units and one two-bedroom unit with a unified facade—all of which look and feel a lot bigger than their size might suggest.

Housed in a 1960s freestanding brick building, these walk-up apartments—often referred to as "six-packs"—were reinterpreted by Australian practice MUSK Architecture Studio, who transformed them into stylish modern dwellings where every square foot is put to good use.  

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The parking space, which is often found in such traditional six-pack buildings, was removed. This helped increase connectivity between the building and the street, as well as improve the internal configuration of the units. 

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An angled roof wraps the units to create a defined form, so from the outside, all the apartments look as if they're part of a single dwelling.

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Apartment residents enter the building through a transitional forecourt, where they can also park their bicycles. This forecourt leads to a shared lobby area with illuminated storage cages that work with the exposed concrete floor to give the lobby a robust industrial look.  

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Soft lighting draws occupants through the lobby area and up a central light-filled staircase to their respective units. 

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Inside the apartments, the architects used flexible floor plans with large sliding doors to demarcate living and sleeping zones. 

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Expansive glazing and high ceilings create an open, lofty atmosphere, which defy the apartments’ compact sizes.

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Mezzanines were incorporated to accommodate diverse programs and enhance the individuality of each unit. 

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Reinforced concrete floors, porcelain tiles, pine plywood lining, Tasmanian oak timber screens, furniture in soothing pastel colors, and bright yellow sliding doors create an elegant and uncluttered look.  

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According to MUSK’s lead architect Hannes McNamara, Coppin Street Apartments are an effective solution for integrating increased density into a prominently single dwelling street, while positively contributing to the existing streetscape and neighborhood.

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