The End To End building has recently opened its doors. It is architecture inspired by street culture comprising six new five storey commercial tenancies each with an elevator, decks and car spaces. It is impressively crowned by three recently retired, renovated Hitachi Met trains with panoramic views of Collingwood and beyond. Rolling Stock nostalgia appears at street level in solid railway track doors, sleeper canopies and train station platform façade panels. The building is the latest in a series of street culture inspired buildings by Zvi Belling of ITN Architects.
This building is the latest in a series of street culture inspired buildings, it is the sequel to The Hive Graffiti Apartments completed in 2012. It is topped by three recently retired, renovated Hitachi Met trains with panoramic views of Collingwood and beyond. The crown of ageing stainless steel is a manifestation born not of a trainspotting obsession but of a nostalgia for the excitement at the birth of graffiti, the spear head of hip hop culture.
Collingwood remains the centre of graffiti culture in Australia, the convergence place of an art culture that veins out into Melbourne along suburban train lines. The End to End title celebrates on high the painting (or piecing) of a Hitachi M Class whole car. This site is just slightly longer than the measure of a train carriage with front and rear roadways. A codified dripping letter P with arrow is centred at the crest of the facade remembering the scribbled ‘panel’ indicator on the front face of a Hitachi that would signal to a young graffiti disciple
which platform to dash to in order to see a fresh piece ride by.
Flexibility was paramount to the circulation and planning through the project, The End to End complex presents as a whole to reveal autonomous subsets of buildings, tenancies, rooms and voids. The building structure relies on bridge technology in order to support each 27 ton carriage, the considerable point load has been spread by casting rail into the upper slab. Customisation was required in many aspects of construction not the least the travel within the lift shafts to allow the elevator to serve the uppermost train level.
The construction budget was achieved at $2500/sqm, the ongoing value is to be achieved in cultural capital over generations. The environmental initiative of up-cycling the scrapped train cars is complemented by on-site water harvesting, solar hot water, thermal mass engineering and passive solar deign. The didactic strength of this building as an icon of re-use should inspire others to try their hand. This building was jointly developed by the architect, a graffiti artist and the builder. The end users are still being determined and thus far include offices, a theatre, a bar, café, burger and whole food restaurants …