601 Saint Kilda Road

Elenberg Fraser Architecture as Architects

Located on the iconic boulevard of St Kilda Rd, on the outskirts of central Melbourne, stand the three silver glazed towers of the St Boulevard project. Framed by the intersection of High Street and St Kilda Road this project is a modern take on a primitive approach to urban living. The project is both about enclosure and exposure, a juxtaposition of contrasting ideas, with both an all-encompassing landscape and the dance of its fluid veil of privacy. The project is a provocative play on the traditional role of apartment design and its definitive edges instead providing unprecedented potential for customisation. Built using an elaborate double façade they are visually complex and layered reflecting a display of natural light and human occupation, which is both artistic expression and an ever-changing veil. Frivolity and excess are spurned in favour of a language of high quality occupant controlled minimisim. 

Reaching back into primitive forms of living the interiors are centred on key modes of contemporary living, from generous stone island benches and natural surfaces to inbuilt media hubs the apartments’ offer a modern lifestyle free from the clutter of ever accumulating objects. The understated interiors instead allow bespoke elements of the project to sing. Meanwhile, the projects interior skin of perforated cork screens creates a delicate veil of privacy controlled from within and simultaneously enabling the creation of secluded winter gardens or an extension of living spaces. The operable second skin of the project, a fluid patchwork of openable windows, allows the apartments to breathe drawing a flow of natural air within. Below, the numerous communal spaces draw inspiration from the resort style landscape they surround. Each space holding a unique affinity to one of the projects three signature trees, once again blurring the boundaries of the internal spaces with landscape they sit within.

The landscape operates as the heart of the development. At its core sits a rambunctious courtyard carved out and sculpted by the towers which hover above it. The landscape, taking over at ground level, carves out an organic oasis between the towers, complete with its own lagoon style pool and pavilions. From the street this landscape draws occupants into the projects heart. Defined by its three signature trees, it continues on to enliven the generous communal spaces which emerge within it and the many apartments which overlook it.

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