Designers move into Escala

Designers move into Escala
Rhonda Dredge

A concrete benchtop, a stained-glass window, and a price tag of $400,000 sold the studio apartment.

Jack Bethell had been looking around the city fringe to buy.

He had an eye for design and a Byron Bay temperament.

“I could have bought a house on the edge of Byron Bay for a bit more,” Jack said.

But instead, the trend for Melburnians to flee north has found an antidote in Docklands.

“I’m big into fishing. My new home is as close to the ocean as I’m going to get,” he told Docklands News.

Jack moved into the studio apartment in early October and set to work. 

As a designer, Jack works at home and he appreciates the detail of Escala, a new mixed-use development on Docklands Drive.

Escala is the first apartment complex designed by Six Degrees, a company that has made its name in the CBD with its laneway bars.

The firm prides itself on designing spaces that fit humans rather than the other way around. 

Jack has left his apartment for a lunch break with his dog Murphy. He’s proud of his choice and starry-eyed about getting to know Docklands.

“I looked in Carlton and North Melbourne. The prices there were more than $600,000 for anything worth looking at,” he said. 

Price was, and is, a big factor. He ordered his kitchen appliances from Costco and his furniture from Ikea.

He moved here from Latrobe St, and this was an extension of his ‘hood even though he didn’t really know it.

“I’m so new to the area I haven’t gone outside the dog park and waterfront. I’ve met a few people through shopping.”

For visually aware young workers the Escala complex offers style and opportunities.

The roughcast concrete surfaces soften the lines of the building as do the arches.

“A design firm has moved in,” Jack said of the office which shares an entrance with the residences.

As domestic and professional barriers break down, Escala is quietly showing how it’s done. •


Caption: Jack Bethall, a new resident of Docklands.

Join Our Facebook Group