Richmond Traders is a new mixed-use development on the corner of Bridge Road and Church Streets in Richmond. The project is one of Melbourne’s first significant build-to-rent developments, with 300 apartments rising above a Market Hall and landscaped podium.
We developed a strategy for an activated ground plane and Market Hall, which is considered integral to a contemporary build-to-rent model. The foundation of the idea is a “whole of life” proposition for the residents of the apartments above. There’s a 4000m2 supermarket, 4000m2 of fresh food retailers and approximately 3000m2 of commercial office space fronting onto Bridge Road.
We conceived the Market Hall as a node of intersecting and interconnected laneways. These laneway-type thoroughfares converge at a sunlit central atrium space which features a large mural artwork by Baby Guerilla. This artwork continues down the brickwork wall to the basement carpark, acting as a passive method of wayfinding for the Market Hall.
The Market Hall opens to Church Street by way of a transparent street façade, enabling passers-by to view the supermarket and the fresh food on offer, and in the process transforming the relationship between Church Street and the activity inside.
Along Bridge Road, we planned a network of laneways which surround several heritage buildings. Combined with open space, these facilitate an intense, vibrant laneway culture. This brings a more granular texture and weaves the heritage of Richmond into the overall narrative.
We worked collaboratively with SJB to bring this development to life. They designed the residential component above the podium level to appear as a series of discretely planned clusters, addressing the scale of Church Street and concealing the bulk of the apartments within the development.
Richmond Traders serves as an example of what Build-to-Rent can offer: an integrated and urban vertical neighbourhood with a concentration of commercial and retail activity at its base. Developments like this offer considerable value and benefit to both the residents and the broader community.