12 St Andrews Street, North Melbourne VIC 3051
Excellent energy-efficient design
We’ve lived in North Melbourne for 25 years and watched this suburb evolve from industrial to edgy inner-city café culture. About 10 years ago we converted a former factory site to create a custom-designed home that met our wish for energy efficiency, quiet and comfort. We The original perimeter walls of the former factory/warehouse were retained. To ensure the house is environmentally responsible the walls and ceiling are stuffed with insulation, the windows are double-glazed and the lights are low energy. We’ve added in evaporative cooling, hydronic heating and an additional gas-fired heater in the living area. The heating panels are hidden in the skirtings and cupboard ‘kickers’. Siting the bedrooms on the mid level and the living area on the top level was deliberate – it’s slightly cooler for sleeping and rising warm air gives additional winter warmth to the living area and helps keep the heating bills as low as possible.
Storage has been given high priority so there are lots of cupboards. The generous roof storage with built-in shelves means there’s plenty of space for all those bulky things that one accumulates. We enjoy cooking and entertaining which is why being so close to the Queen Vic market is a bonus. A great deal of care went into our kitchen design. It’s compact for efficiency and the cupboard layout ensures there’s lots of storage. We like the streamlined look of the integrated Liebherr fridge and freezer set and the Fisher & Paykel Dish Drawer dishwasher. The induction cooktop is energy saving, a breeze to clean and temperature adjustment is super quick.
We particularly like this part of North Melbourne because of its proximity to the Queen Victoria market and the city as well as the enormous choice of public transport. Flagstaff station is about 10 minutes walk away and being 1 tram stop from the ‘free zone’ is a bonus! Although the location is so close to busy areas it’s surprisingly quiet and an advantage of being down a small street is there’s no traffic noise. The nearby Telstra exchange building wouldn’t win any architectural awards but it’s not noisy.
Our tucked-away street is safe and we’ve been away for up to 7 weeks at a time with no concerns about security. Some residents park in St Andrews Street but we prefer to use our own on-site parking and the turntable makes for easy drive-in/drive-out access. For visitors there’s free parking in Queensberry and Chetwynd Streets in the evenings, Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday.
There are plenty of good schools within walking distance (it’s in the zone for University High School) as well as all the major hospitals and The University of Melbourne. We’re reluctant to sell but it’s time for us to down-size further. We’re confident anyone buying 12 St Andrews Street will agree with us that this is a great part of North Melbourne.
Nicholas West and Charlie Barham are an amazing team
Review by Roger & Christine