The brilliant results when apartment developments respect heritage

4 years ago
3 minutes

As space becomes a decreasing commodity in today’s cities, it’s no wonder developers are looking to redevelop older, existing structures to build their projects around.

This eclectic mix of old and new, when done right, creates some pretty eye-catching results — all while protecting the existing build and the area.

DNK Architecture Group has used this philosophy to brilliant effect in Moscow, turning a former furniture factory into apartments. 

credit: DNK Architecture Group

The development is called Rassvet Loft Studio after the Rassvet factory that still stands on the site. Apartments have been created in the ten-storey former industrial building from the 1980s, as well as a series of lower units which were formerly used as housing for workers. 

Replacing prefabricated concrete panel cladding with hand-made bricks, zinc-framed windows punctuate the facade. 

credit: DNK Architecture Group

Inside, the original concrete skeleton of the building has been maintained, with the six-metre-high factory floor areas converted into double-height apartments with mezzanines.

Each elegant townhouse has its own approach and front door, while a series of cuts in the roofline has been turned into terrace spaces, sheltered by the projected dormers that surround them from either side.

credit: DNK Architecture Group

This respect to previous structures has been implemented on these shores as well. None more brilliantly than Atelier Leichardt in Sydney.

Here, Atelier celebrates the heritage of the past with the style and comfort of contemporary city living. Brought to life by Ceerose, the elegant authentic architecture sees the new structure seamlessly infused into the raw brick and chimney kilns of the former Gina’s Bakery — it combines old and new to brilliant effect.

Atelier Leichardt

Developer Kokoda Property has gone one step further and hired heritage consultants Lovell Chen to maintain the historic Melbourne architecture at Malvern Collective.  

Occupying a prime position on the corner of Glenferrie and Dandenong Roads in Malvern, the apartment and broader site development will vitalise the southern end of Glenferrie Rd whilst maintaining the surrounding heritage, bringing a bold and brilliant design that heralds a new age for the neighbourhood. 

Malvern Collective  

The development is set to revitalise Station Place with a new dining, retail, and commercial precinct, along with providing residents ease of access to the heritage-listed Malvern Railway Station.

Meanwhile, Thirdi recently claimed the prestigious Excellence in Urban Renewal/Adaptive Reuse title at the UDIA Crown Group Awards for Excellence for Iconic, in Waterloo.

Located on Elizabeth Street, the beautiful development of 76 beautiful apartments is set in a stunning heritage building, offering timeless and industrially inspired design.


Iconic, named after the site’s former owner who owned a line of iconic fashion labels, including SABA, is incorporated into a 98-year-old building.

“There are a number of things we did differently with this build,” says Luke Berry, Director of Sales and Marketing at Thirdi.

This meant the penthouses could have private rooftop gardens and plunge pools, for example. So you’ve got this really old building with this seamless integration of these apartments into the old façade.

“The layout and beautiful industrial-style apartments have allowed us to set records for the highest square-metre rates for a property in Waterloo and the highest rent ever achieved in the area.”

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