The design focuses on blurring the boundary between inside and out in order to connect the residences to the beauty of the adjacent park. Extensive full height glazing provides expansive views of the natural surrounds, whilst operable timber screens offer both privacy and solar protection. Generous outdoor living spaces enable the residents to directly connect with the park and experience the tranquility of the gardens from their own homes.
The material palette of copper, reclaimed timber and off form concrete is warm and earthy to reflect the parkland, and this design intent is also evident in the tactile nature of the interior finishes. Marble bench tops and oversize porcelain tiles are paired with matte black metal work to create refined spaces that are also easily maintained. Two palette options (light and dark) provide residents further opportunity to personalize each apartment. The natural material palette continues throughout the communal areas including the lobby and the wine cellar. Not only suited to wine storage, the wine cellar provides residents with the unique opportunity to entertain larger groups in an intimate environment reminiscent of a wine bar.
What were the key challenges?
At the time of project inception, our client realized a significant need in the community for contemporary accommodation for downsizers. The majority of residents are owner occupiers and have moved from large family homes in the surrounding area. Through our work with this demographic, we understand a sense of neighborhood and community is vital. The intent was that the building needed to appear ageless, weathered and settled in the site from the very first day of occupation.
What were the solutions?
The design draws inspiration from the strong brutalist forms and materiality of the nearby Harold Holt Swim Center and adjacent public gardens. These sources and intent informed the materials chosen – neutral concrete, rich recycled timber and copper wrap the building. The texture, flaws and honesty of these lasting materials are revealed. The timber is rough and left untreated to weather gently through the seasons, copper develops a lush patina over time, self-repairing if it is marked, and the concrete imperfections, air pockets, expressed shadow lines and z-bar penetrations are left unfilled and exposed to the elements. The result is a building worn-in from the day it is occupied and allowed to age further gracefully as the seasons permit. Accordingly, maintenance is easier than would otherwise be expected. Recycled timber was used extensively as a wall cladding and soffit lining. The timber was sourced from a pier in Sydney which was being demolished and we hand selected the boards in collaboration with the client. External, user operated venetian blinds and sliding screens were installed to east, west and north facing windows to reduce heat load. An existing large palm tree was stored offsite during construction and replanted to retain the site’s former vegetation.
Who are the clients and what's interesting about them?
Moda are a progressive developer who consider design and enduring architecture as pivotal to a successful development as the financial upsides. This makes them a fantastic collaborator for Ewert leaf, and subsequently why we have worked together numerous times. We pride ourselves on balancing creativity and commerciality, and this project is testament to the value of that approach.
Key products used:
Timber Flooring: Kustom Timber - Oak Engineered - White Smoked & Almond
Carpet: Victoria Carpets - Central park Range - Colour: Fifth Avenue
Bathroom Tiles: Urban Edge Ceramics - Mews Industrial Chevron - Colour: Fog
Laundry Floor Tile: Massa Imports - Blazed floor tile - Off White
External Pavers: Eco Outdoor - Bluestone
Feature Timber Battens: Woodform Architectural - Amercia White Oak
Feature ceilings: Shiver Me Group - Recycled timber boards
Acoustic Ceiling: Knauff
Stone benchtops: Willis Bros - Natural marble - Super White
Timber Veneer: Elton Group - Light Oak
Bathroom fittings - Bourne - Eleganz range
Kitchen Appliances: Miele
Integrated Fridges: Fisher & Paykel
General Lighting: Archilux
Feature Pendants: Ross gardam - Silhouette Metal pendant
Feature external copper cladding: Architectural Cladding Australia - Oxidised
Wine Cellar Fridges: Liebherr