Page 47 - AB Awards 2015

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open onto expansive terraces
and maximise both daylight
access and privacy. Skilful design
separates the commercial and
retail such that maximum privacy
is afforded, and from above the
apartments are largely oblivious
to the busy retail environment
below. Extensive planting on the
rooftop of commercial spaces
provide a pleasant outlook for
the residents above as well as
acoustic separation.
The project’s success has been
driven by a strong directive
and partnership between client,
architect and interior designers.
The rough and tactile materiality
is both consistent with the theme
and strongly evokes the heritage
of the site and its post industrial
and consequent identity.
The architect has been skilful in
carrying out minimal but decisive
changes to relocate sleeping spaces
to the rear, thereby creating larger
open plan living areas connected
to new side and front gardens,
which improve cross ventilation
and capture the northern aspect.
External spaces have been
landscaped to encourage street
interaction with the community and
dissolve some of the boundaries
between public and private.
The reconfiguration and overlay of
detail simultaneously introduces
a practicality and playfulness
rarely seen in contemporary
multi-residential projects. All this
for a fraction of the cost of a total
rebuild, and all work was carried
out as exempt or complying
development. It’s a refreshing
reminder of what is possible when
thinking creatively.
This project has mastered what
is a challenging but increasingly
common development type – the
mixed use development. Set in
a part of Sydney that has seen
significant change in the past
15 years it is built in the context
of existing warehouses, café,
showroom and new apartments,
but successfully manages these
often conflicting land uses
without compromise.
At ground level the public
domain is reinforced by a
meaningful cross-site pedestrian
link focused around a central
courtyard, while retail and
commercial uses transition the
site and manage a significant
change in level and flood
The residential apartments above
have been located to maximise
amenity; their generous width
allows for large living spaces that
A genuine game-changer. Tucked
down a local street in Sydney’s
Newtown we find a small multi-
residential conversion with large
Faced with possible total demolition
of the existing building, here the
architect was able to see beyond
the massing and aesthetic of the
building. With a light touch, the
architect has introduced a series
of small interventions and layer of
detailed refinement not present in
the original building.
The result is a joyful response which
gives a second life to a prolific
Australian housing typology.
Littered amongst Australian cities
lies the neglected 1960’s & 70’s
red textured brick unit block. This
typology is generally considered to
be of little architectural merit due
to its scale, negative streetscape
impacts, unused open space and
use of a singular building material
Photography: Brett Boardman
Photography: Brigid Arnott
Billard Leece Partnership + SJB Architects
in association with BKH Interiors
David Boyle Architect