The modernised 1950's brown brick apartment building delivers dwellings that achieve contemporary living standards and take advantage of their harbour side location. A key goal was to create a 'sense of address' for the building and a more engaged and pedestrian friendly street environment.
This project was alterations and additions on a grand scale. Typical of 1950's brick and concrete construction, the original building was architecturally modest. It was utilitarian with low ceilings and had pokey isolated rooms, taking little advantage of the harbour location and orientation.
The project goal was to maximise the site's development opportunities within a pre-established building framework, delivering a building that provided contemporary interior spaces and amenities with a public interface that respected its location.
It was important that the outcome be wrapped in a no-nonsense architecture, robust enough to survive the onslaught of value engineering that pervaded the GFC construction and development environment.
To the street edge the building now presents individual entries to 'terrace house' typology apartments, each with their own front door and entry porch. The stepped and articulated street fence hides the existing projecting basement car park while sandstone has been used sparingly to achieve a textured edge condition within the limited budget.
Apartments have been connected vertically where they could not be traditionally cross-ventilated and external balconies have been added and building edges redressed to help increase the feeling of internal volume where additional height could not be gained.
Throughout, the simplicity of the architectural approach and the careful attention given to the amenity of dwellings through their internal planning has made best use of an existing structure, while surviving four owners, three project managers and two builders, all while achieving a considered and pleasing street condition.
RAIA, National Architecture Awards, Multiple Housing (shortlist) 2012
RAIA, NSW Architecture Awards, Multiple Housing Award 2012
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JAMES HARDIE WALL & FLOOR PRODUCTS