South Yarra Apartments
The approach to the South Yarra Apartments is to design a freestanding building, symmetrical structure of classical proportions. It is predominantly natural coloured terracotta tiles with deeply recessed fenestration. The intention is for a subtle building of quality design, timeless style and one which sits harmoniously in its location and simultaneously makes a positive contribution to the streetscape and the heritage overlay area.
The building setbacks are similar to those adjoining however the three facades are tapered in a pyramidal form when viewed from the main street. The building is formal in plan on all levels and is symmetrical from all elevations. In order to understand the rationale behind the building’s form, it is necessary to view the plan layout to each level. Balconies are kept within the envelope of the building in order to maintain strong external lines.
The material palette selected for the project reinforces the neutral nature of the building form. The terracotta tile has a natural and “soft” finish which in tone and texture is similar to the adjoining brick buildings. The restored historic adjacent building is also painted in a dull sandy tone to compliment the new building.
The building also acknowledges the strong horizontal and roofline of the street and adjoining buildings. This has been achieved by inverting the soffit which tapers inward to the glass line of the penthouse level. It is intended the roof will appear to float above the building in a classical form. The colour is charcoal, similar in tone to slate and is symmetrical from all elevations with the glass deeply recessed and the low scale of the soffit. The northern façade, not visible from the street, is largely glazed to take advantage of the light with terracotta detailing and large sunshades extending horizontally from the building.
The proposed building reinforces the scale of the street and preserves the rhythm and grain of the streetscape. It does not mimic historic styles found elsewhere, rather it is a contemporary design that reinforces the streetscape. All elements in this composition make reference to scale and craft with a clear response to contextual subtlety and broader urban design considerations associated with the character of the area.