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Krause Emperor bricks set a high benchmark for medium density living in Essendon

Krause Emperor Bricks in Ghost, The Lincoln Collection, Essendon

The Lincoln Collection is the perfect example of density done well. This highly liveable set of 14 townhouses in Essendon has ample amenity and a beautiful street presence care of a striking, timeless façade.

This inspired collaboration between Branson Group and DKO and VIVA Build Co. has delivered a sophisticated, minimalist building of high quality materials and thoughtful detailing.

What makes it a standout in Essendon is that it has introduced a new residential typology to the suburb: high quality medium density living in a precinct of predominantly single level residential dwellings.

“Essendon is known from a typology perspective to be made up of larger single dwellings … and the residential designs that had been done in the past hadn’t been done so well, so we saw it as a good opportunity to introduce a new way of living into a context that was not used to medium density living,” explains Dominic Gaetani, Senior Associate, DKO.

Renowned for delivering architectural excellence with unique and effective designs, the team at DKO has more than delivered, in close consultation with the Branson Group.

Krause Emperor bricks, Ghost, on the facade of The Lincoln Collection, side view

The considered use of materials is key to its success: Brick and brass are the heroes of the façade, along with glass for transparency; the minimal palette working in fine harmony.

The traditional brick of Essendon was a key influencer in brick choice but, true to form, DKO wanted to use it in a more creative way.

“That’s why we used the Krause Ghost Grey brick. It has elements and layers of warmth in it, so it did work with that existing streetscape of red and orange brick facades,” explains Dominic.

Ben Atanasovski, Director of Branson Group, knew that a successful development in Essendon would need a different offering using high quality materials and great design to create a premium product.

“I’d seen Krause bricks before, in a couple of different buildings, and I was obsessed with them so I was pushing hard to use them and it has come up amazingly well,” reflects Ben.

To build the streetscape identity of The Lincoln Collection, Krause bricks are used on the front portion, creating a positive stir neighbourhood:

“Just driving by the site you watch people turn their heads, even during construction when the scaffold came down, and we’d start to reveal the façade,” says Ben.

Krause Emperor Bricks in Ghost, close up against cool brass accents

Dominic agrees, “We tried to produce something that was sophisticated and timeless and I think that the Krause brick is a big part of that. At DKO, we’re big on using fine grain, robust materials, which people can touch and feel­–it’s not a fake brick or render–it’s textured and robust; we like that human scale quality to the brick.”

Paired with the Krause Ghost Grey bricks is beautiful brass detailing, care of powder-coated aluminium, on the fine balcony balustrades and standing seam cladding on the third floor, with its intricate junction details. The brick detailing is lined with bronze, too, softening the brick façade. It’s a delightful combination.

The team worked hard to justify the height and density of the development to Council, and thoughtful design and close community consultation by the Branson Group paid off.

“We were essentially introducing a new residential typology to Essendon, so it’s quite new in its context, and although the density has increased, we have provided significant amenity for each of these homes. Each dwelling has a large amount of private open space on the ground level, which is important, so people are connected to landscape and have that significant outdoor space that’s private, which is an extension of their home,” comments Dominic.

Rear courtyard, The Lincoln Collection

The 14 townhouses are spread across three rows, the street front containing four dwellings and the remaining two rows containing five dwellings each. Their height and density is well-considered and designed to respect the neighbouring context, the pushing and pulling in the façade creating articulation and breaking down the scale. For instance, while the two outer dwellings, closer to neighbouring adjacencies, are two storeys and set back further from the street, the middle two dwellings are three storeys with a further setback on the third level. This adds variation and creates a clear identity for each of the townhouses.

In line with its premium offering, quality and timeless sophistication continues inside. The Lincoln Collection is a fully secured, gated community, with a choice of either a light-filled two or three bedroom townhouse with study, rear courtyard, master bedroom with large walk-in robe and ensuite, and extensive storage throughout. Smart technology offers fingerprint access and CCTV cameras and there’s also a basement carpark with communal car and dog wash facilities.

Kitchen details at The Lincoln Collection

The location of The Lincoln Collection was a clear drawcard – Essendon is close to a significant shopping and retail precinct, is well-connected to public transport, and has abundant parkland. But at the end of the day, quality and considered design clearly sets it apart. Every townhouse sold off the plan and settled on time, so Branson Group couldn’t be happier.

There is no doubt, Branson Group and DKO have set a high benchmark for townhouse developments in the area, delivering a new premium, modern aesthetic that will be challenging to surpass.

Developer: Branson Group

Architect: DKO

Builder: Viva Build Co

Landscape Design: Keystone

Landscape Construction: Inspired Landscapes

Photography: Peter Clarke



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