Inside Collingwood's art-inspired YOU AND I development


Local Melbourne artist, Steve Rosendale is about to embark on his greatest project as he prepares to adorn Collingwood’s YOU AND I apartment building façade with a number of his larger-than-life stencil-style artworks.

The building, developed by

ICD Property, represents one of the suburb’s largest residential refurbishment projects along the famed Smith Street shopping strip, and aims to bring a unique touch to the creative suburb.

Located on 450 Smith Street, Collingwood, YOU AND I is just 2.3km from Melbourne’s city centre, and is set amongst Collingwood’s vibrant bars, restaurants, cafes and shops.

The seven-storey, mixed-use development consists of 28 one-bedroom and 35 two-bedroom apartments as well 100sqm of ground-floor retail space, suitable for a cafe or retail premise.

Interest in the striking development has been high, as only two-bedroom apartments remain with prices starting from $570,000 to $680,000 and sized from 71sqm to 111sqm.

One-bedroom apartments, sized 50sqm to 67sqm, sold quickly for between $370,000 and $415,000.

Orbit Solutions and Carr Design have collaborated to create a design that merges with natural materials.

All apartments feature large windows that fill apartments with natural use and minimize external noise, and connect open-planned living spaces with generously sized balconies.

Apartment kitchens include designer fittings and fixtures such as stone bench tops and Miele electric ovens, gas cooktops and rangehoods.

The complex’s environmental impact was considered when choosing materials. Energy-efficient appliances and lighting, split-system heating and cooling that reduce energy usage and roof-mounted solar panels that provide backup energy to hot water systems are used throughout apartments.

Residents can also take advantage of a communal garden and recreation area overlooking bustling Smith Street. The complex also includes secure parking for residents
With Collingwood once famed for its local artisan residents during the 60s, 70s and 80s, ICD Property Managing Director, Michael Mai said it was incredibly important for the apartment project to contribute positively to Collingwood’s unique character rather than try to take it away.

“Before the property boom deemed Collingwood to be one of the most sought after suburbs in Melbourne, it was a popular location for artists, filmmakers, writers and the like as it was largely considered to be an undesirable place to live by many white collar workers and so the rent was cheap.

“Over the years this has resulted in an incredible injection of unique culture and character to the area so we wanted to ensure we paid homage to this culture by creating an icon for Smith Street, rather than an eyesore,” said Mr. Mai.

Custom creating five artworks to grace the building, Mr. Rosendale’s portfolio was chosen by the developer due to his unique retro aesthetic and references to underground cinematic culture.

In collaboration with Orbit Architecture, Mr. Rosendale’s original artworks will be recreated out of perforated and laser-cut powder coated sheet metal, and one piece out of graphic concrete, which can be stencilled with a special membrane to create an image relief.

Drawing inspiration from film noir and other classic cinematic scenes, Steve Rosendale said he had always been more interested in the emotions that could be evoked by his paintings, rather than the scenes themselves.

“As an avid Melbournian I drew on the bustling night-time streetscapes to develop a lot of my earlier work, while also exploring character dynamics and colour experimentation to recreate the same hues which are representative of vintage posters,” he said.

Mr. Rosendale said having his work featured on such a large scale was an honour, and so he was looking forward to choosing artworks which will best reflected this iconic part of Melbourne to resonate with the locals.

“My inspiration for the artworks which will be featured on the façades has come from the building’s name: ‘YOU AND I’. It got me thinking about classic romance, so I have used this influence to design timeless pieces subtly created from collages of pop culture images so residents, locals and neighbours can enjoy them for years to come.

“Introduced into this project by the architects ‘Orbit’, I worked closely with creative director Chris Goss to modify my artworks into functional permanent pieces that can be installed onto the building.

“In my years as an artist I never thought I would have the opportunity to have my work displayed so openly and on such a large scale - never mind the sides of a building!” said Mr. Rosendale.

Construction on YOU AND I commenced in July and is scheduled for completion in late 2014.

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