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May 10, 2024

Studio living with Mia from 38 Albermarle Street, Kensington

20240509 ASSEMBLE 38 Albermarle Street Resident Stories Mia FM 04

We were welcomed into Mia's studio apartment that sits right behind the retained Harry A Norris heritage facade at 38 Albermarle Street. Coming up to the two-year anniversary since move-in, Mia tells us why small footprint living works for her and why she's set on life in Kensington.

Thanks for having us – can you tell us about yourself? 

Mia: My name’s Mia and I'm 24 years old. I'm an actor, choreographer, and I work at Tonka in Melbourne’s CBD too.  

Right now, I’m gearing up to open a play this month at La Mama Theatre in Carlton. It's called “Blood in the Water” written by Jorja Bentley and directed by Tansy Gorman. 

How did you find out about 38 Albermarle Street?

M: I was lucky finding out about 38 Albermarle Street. I moved to Melbourne in 2018 for university and I was in student accommodation for two years. I loved living on my own, but those studios were like living in a shoebox.  

In 2020 I moved into a share house in Kensington on Gower Street, and I fell in love with the suburb. Everything's so close, it’s quiet, there’s parks and public transport nearby, and it feels like it’s up and coming now. 

When the share house went our separate ways, I wanted to stay in Kensington but wanted to go back to living on my own. Assemble popped up in one of my searches – I enquired, and I was lucky to score the last studio apartment in the building.  

What is your favourite aspect of studio living?

M: I think like the main reason why I'm in studio apartment is to have my own space and to recharge my social battery.  I’m very grateful for the layout of my apartment being on the corner of the building. Even though it’s a studio it still feels segmented, it has great light throughout the day, and it feels like I have so much space. 

Your home sits right behind the retained heritage facade – it's lovely sitting here and seeing that detail shine through.

M: It's cool, isn’t it? I remember moving to Melbourne and walking through the Nicholas Building in the CBD. It’s such an institution for creatives and small businesses and it was quite special finding out that Harry Norris designed the original building here at 38 Albermarle Street too. I love the nod to that heritage and the care taken to maintain its significance - even down to the naming of Cassette was such a meaningful touch.

And you're comfortable in your all-electric home?

M: Absolutely. I barely use my heating or air conditioning. In terms of climate control in this apartment, it's perfect.  

I’ve been signed up to AssembleConnect since I moved in and really appreciate the access to a cleaner energy option for my apartment. Given I’m tackling the bills myself now, it’s also been great having all my utilities bills under the one website that’s easy to navigate instead of across multiple apps and accounts.

Outside your home, where do you find yourself spending most of your time in the building? 

M: I'm down at Cassette every morning getting coffee – it’s such a friendly team to see first thing in the day. I will say that I am missing my go-to dish from last year - the Tofu Scramble. They need to bring that dish back!  

I also love the open-aired breezeways and bumping into my Level 1 neighbours and saying “hi” and seeing their families grow over these past two years. 

You’ve lived in Kensington for four years now - what is it you love about the suburb? 

M: Why I loved it here in the first place is because it's a real family-orientated suburb and, importantly, it feels safe.  There are parks, supermarkets and public transport options right at my doorstep and there’s new venues popping up across the neighbourhood – it feels what the early days of Brunswick or Fitzroy would've been like.

Any hidden secrets of Kensington you want to share?

M: Nabe Studios on Ormond Street is an art gallery and performance space that’s relatively new to the suburb. They run Breakfast Clubs where artists come together, bring dishes to share and chat about what they're currently working on. It’s a real collaborative and creative get-together 

How are you finding our purchase pathway? 

M: Owning this apartment is the end goal but everyone is feeling it right now. Assemble’s purchase pathway gives me stability in today’s wayward market and a set goal to work towards. Given the nature of my work is so up in the air however, having my rent and purchase price locked in, and knowing there'll be no surprise increases ahead, is incredibly reassuring for me.