Ask the Italians and Greeks who first gave modern Brunswick its vibrant, working class vibe and they’ll probably say it’s nothing like it used to be.
But all suburbs adapt and change to the needs of those who live there. The loom-rattle of Brunswick’s textile industry has made way for residential influx that’s meeting the needs of Melbourne’s CBD office workers looking for a manageable commute. And thankfully, there’s still plenty of character to behold.
Sydney Road, for decades the haunt of Melbourne’s bohemians at large, still boasts bars and eateries where tall tales are told. Caffeine or cocktails, Brunswick’s friendly hub is not short on beverage spots, with an almost daily arrival of new bars and cafes trying to outdo each other on the cool scale.
Likewise, shopping options range from the classic corner store to larger brands, with an inclusive collection of new boutique outlets adding to the ever-changing face of the popular strips.
Thoughtful urban renewal
Architecturally, there’s a sentimentality for brick in Brunswick that links back to its history, and many new residential projects are considering this in their design. Having a genuine connection to a suburb’s physical past can help both the way a building relates to the neighbourhood and the way residents feel about living in it.
This thoughtful approach to Brunswick’s urban renewal is being driven by projects like Jewell Station. These new urban villages are marrying function with a focus on community. The rejuvenation of Upfield Line Station will pair residential apartments with social infrastructure that improves the area for everyone.
The joint project between VicTrack and Neometro is part of VicTrack’s Station Precinct Enhancement, aimed at finding the perfect outcome for the community and the developer. This collection of apartments is clustered in low-rise buildings that will progress Brunswick’s story whilst being respectful of its surrounding architecture.
Shared communal spaces are now almost a prerequisite of any new mid to large apartment project, helping residents connect and form a sense of belonging. And when those spaces connect with the rest of the neighbourhood, the new starts to connect with the old more naturally.
Further proving the importance of community-focused collaborations like this, VicTrack is investing in the enhancement of the station financial benefits from the Jewell Station project will go towards VicTrack’s redevelopment of the station itself. And transport connectivity for all continues with the creation of improved bike tracks that link into Brunswick’s existing network, allowing cyclists a safer journey to and from the city.
As suburbs like Brunswick continue to evolve, progress in design and construction methods reflect the changing demands of buyers. Long gone are the days when new residential projects considered sustainability and energy efficiency as an optional extra. Developers like Neometro are now teaming up with specialist architects to integrate sustainability measures into every aspect of their apartments.
With practically every inner city suburb attempting to navigate a harmonious path towards regeneration, balancing the old with the new means balancing individual needs with those of the community… and Brunswick seems to be on the right track.