George St Apartments
project type: Apartments
location: Sandringham, Melbourne, Australia
area: 2,750 sqm.
A clear distinction, or expression of mass, has been made between the ground floor and upper levels. A high level strip window separates the ground floor from the upper levels. This level is 2m above ground level, and is continued in the height of adjacent fences and walls.
A distinction has been made through materiality. Ground floor has a darker, more earthy material pallet of dark blockwork and timber. Blockwork
White render and shiny white metallic cladding characterize the upper levels. An interlocking of the two materials that occurs at the balconies emphasizes the interplay of the coarse render and shiny metal. This interlocking detail is repeated on both ends of the buildings, and architectonically “caps” the ends of the building.
Light, or blond timber is used as a cladding and lining to the balconies. Timber is viewed as a warm, human material, and it is used to soften the habitable spaces. As an exterior material it is contrasted with the white of the render.
Melbourne’s Victorian architectural heritage is referenced by a patterning that is applied to the glass screens. Fine level decoration provides for moments of interest perceived differently at different scales. From afar the pattern appears as a gradient that gets finer towards the top of the screen. From close up the pattern is perceived a collection of abstract geometric shapes. This hierarchy of visual information scales down the architecture from an urban level to a human level.
A polycarbonate screen admits light to the access walkway, and obscures views to the adjacent car park. It is set away from the walkway itself and is therefore open to airflow, allowing for cross ventilation to the apartments.