Women artists help to transform drab inner-city streets with innovative collaborations in the design and construction sector.
In just a few years Samantha Everton has gone from a relative unknown to a household name.
And now the award winning artist is collaborating with local town planners, builders and architects to transform inner-city streets.
The 2 Girls Building (pictured), which is located in Abbortsford and due to be completed in mid-2013, is generating a large amount of public interest due to its unusual design features.
By using a photo from Everton's now-famous Vintage Dolls photographic series that first made waves in the art world in 2009 on the building's facade, the architectural firm responsible for overseeing the project is doing its best to imitate art in real life.
"This is such an exciting concept, which I believe is certainly unique to Australia. The ability to marry an image so well into a real building, interacting with its features and the people who will live there really brings it to life," enthused Ms Everton when speaking about the project.
"Every artist ultimately creates their artwork for people to enjoy and this is a wonderful opportunity to share my work with a whole new audience,’’ she said.
Billy Kavellaris, director of KUD Architects and one of the chief collaborators on the site, is calling the mix-use residential development a new "polemic".
"[The building] is a polemic that fuses art, photography and architecture. The project explores the relationship between the three disciplines and blurs their respective boundaries resulting in one craft overlapping and appropriating the other characteristics in the form of a new medium," he said.
Upon completion the building will include three ground level offices, as well as 15 apartments and rooftop apartments.
In addition to the print of Everton's photograph, the building uses embossed concrete, glass in various stages of transparency, a three-storey tall lamp structure and sculptures to reinterpret her original image as a large-scale work of art.
And while some people may not warm to the idea of larger-than-life dolls residing on their street real estate experts are convinced Melburnians will open their arms to the new development.
Peter Cahill, a representative from Domain Hill Property Group, is barley able to contain his enthusiasm for the 2 Girls Building.
"Abbotsford is a remarkable suburb … it hugs the Yarra River, has immediate access to massive parklands, and walking and cycling tracks, and yet is on the doorstep of the city. Any wonder it's so popular," he said.