Designed by SJB, St Kilda’s latest multi-residential development celebrates materiality and craftmanship.
The design was inspired by St Kilda’s signature brick walk-up flats and uses masonry and steel in a contemporary way that still references the area’s architectural vernacular.
“Saint is a medium-sized, modest residential project and the hand-laid brick throughout directly connects materiality, craftsmanship and a domestic scale of construction,” says Tristan Wong, SJB director of architecture.
The building consists of two cantilevered forms clad in grey brick, which hover over a sculptural colonnade created by Melbourne artist Cliff Burtt.
SJB was determined to integrate the work of a local artist into the development as a way to pay homage to St Kilda’s reputation as a vibrant artistic community.
Burtt’s work for the development is called ‘Section’; a series of ‘eroded’ Corten steel columns that lead into the building itself, appearing to support it.
“Cliff makes these rectilinear geometric forms that are strong and planar with organic-looking erosions in them. We worked closely with him on how they could be integrated to almost become part of the structural components of the building,” says Wong.
“The beauty of this artwork is that it gives something back to the streetscape, while also engaging with the development’s residents.”
The building was designed to foster a strong residential community. For example, walkability and social interaction have been encouraged through the inclusion of extensive light-filled corridors, walkways and gardens.
“We wanted to create a journey punctuated with landscaped moments. From the street front to the rear of the development where the red brick townhouses are, you journey past and through light-filled and green environments that break the walk,” says Wong.
Inside, the apartments and townhouses feature two unique monochromatic and natural themes inspired by the materiality of the exterior as well as Burtt’s sculpture. A warm bronze palette is inspired by Cliff’s Corten steel, while a darker palette reference’s the exterior’s masonry and black steel. Interior materials include timber floors and matching veneer treatments with porcelain benchtops, vanities and tiling.