Big thanks to my homie Zvi Belling at ITN Architects in Melbourne for providing me with images of The Hive. I applaud Zvi for using graffiti as a structural element within the facade transitioning it from a temporal, surface application typically serving aesthetic purposes only.
The Hive Graffiti Apartments is the first in a series of Hip Hop buildings designed by ITN Architects. It is a joint development by the architect Zvi Belling and ‘Prowla’ of the Rock Da City graffiti crew both of whom now reside in the building.
The principle construction material is concrete, the use of which has been lent to the larger than life graffiti relief façade complete with arrows, swooshes and drips which has been knitted into the brick shell of an old Carlton shop. The urban street is celebrated by making permanent an ephemeral art.
The notion of hive as home has been extracted from the facade and reappears through the fitout in various guises. The slightly sci-fi interiors over four levels are shaped by the arrows and expressive hip hop language of the façade, the remnants of the existing brickwork and are worked into very compact planning on a small site.