“I have lived in a range of small spaces around Melbourne, so it is something I am quite comfortable with. This is the first time I have lived above ground level, and it is a bit of a revelation – the play of light over the city, the weather formations, and just the volume of sunshine. Being slightly out of the city allows for long distance views and a sense of expansive space, despite the small footprint. I like it a lot.
I like living in ‘postcode 3000’ due to its diversity. It’s refreshing to move beyond the stereotypes assigned to other suburbs, or from one side of the river to another. To me, one of the best things about this location is the proximity to Queen Victoria Market. Market shopping has become a weekly activity, and allows me to indulge my fixation for seasonal eating, as well as escaping the banality of the supermarket. Some things I have discovered since shopping there include custard apples, pandan essence, and fish tails.
I have been living in the Cloud (the upper portion of the building) since it first was completed in October last year. The amount of light from the windows is amazing. On the flip side, I feel I may have become a bit of an exhibitionist, as pulling down the blinds destroys the space. Three floors down from my apartment, there is a gym, lounge and an area for larger dinners, as well as an outdoor deck that goes all the way around the building. The best thing about living here is taking in the sunset on the west-facing deck, watching the sun go down over an apocalyptic-looking port, orange light reflected all around by the mirrored surfaces. It was the perfect location to farewell/welcome the solstice sun with a dinner party back in June.
Living in a small space, I constantly have to quell my hoarder instincts, but I do fall in love with objects very easily. I worked a lot in bookshops as a student, including ten years at Readings Carlton, so I also have a bit of a book problem. These can be difficult in a small space, but here I have lined the window frames with them as a purpose-made bookcase. Some other favourite things are artworks by friends, including some homewares by Kain and Fi of clothing label ffiXXed. I have a box or two of treasures, each with a story of its own. Perhaps the collection of objects is more potent without explanation.
The mornings are a solitary – often golden – luxury. With the eastern wall of glass, the dawn can be transcendental. Then, I walk a little down Swanston Street to our new studio for a long but fun day. We share the space with art directors tin&ed, who are also very good friends. Being in the city again, we are still re-familiarising ourselves with its haunts, and usually venture out for a meal or opening before heading home.
Upper House is a very good place to live, well-designed and with a high level of finish. My own ideal architecture for living would be a lot more radical, attempting to create a space that addresses, more specifically, our current societal conditions, be they relating to technology, ecology or cultural identity. The more consideration that goes into addressing these issues the more chance for beneficial change to occur. Home and inhabitation can be defined in so many ways – I know this because it is a question I regularly pose to students. For me, home is anywhere you choose to call it, whether that be your favourite pair of shoes, an online platform, or a beach frequented in your childhood.”
Many thanks to Jane for the tour and early morning insights. For more information on the multi-disciplinary, many-limbed work of SIBLING, visit: siblingnation.net.