This is a project by Opat Architects and it is located at Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Project's program: Apartment building. There are five images for Housing St Kilda East.
The design for this block of eight north facing units in East St Kilda was intended to create an aesthetic link between the neighbours on either side: a Federation cottage and a 60’s brick walk up block of flats. Towards the rear of the site, the north facing façade was designed from the perspective of the neighbour’s yards, creating a bush landscape with the vertical lines and gum colours with a play on light and shadow.
On the ground floor, six of the two bedroom apartments have an open plan kitchen and living area with a north facing interior connected to a secluded timber lined yard. On the first floor of these, the two bedrooms are separated by a shared bathroom. This layout ensured that all eight units would have northern orientation. The brief required that a maximum number of two bedroom north facing units be built on the site. We had a desire to minimize west facing windows and overheating by the afternoon sun in summer. The result is an unarticulated street frontage with a straight set of walls without doors and one small window. We incorporated the window into the pattern and design of the façade.
We used brick both for its function and texture as well as it's relationship to the brick apartments next door. Revealing the makers mark, brick provides a solid and sustainable material that allows us to create softness and texture through pattern. By introducing a polychromatic pattern to the front façade with the one small window, we attempted to create a natural landscaped feel rather than a potentially brutal one The pattern was generated by considering the decorative cement render banding on the façade of the northern neighbour, a line that negotiates itself around a window. Here, a series of bands of brick colour are applied across this façade and effected by the only window facing the street.
Red and cream colour bricks linked the site to its neighbours. We used a third darker brick to tie the pattern together. By using pattern and this colour set, we were able to work within the streetscape.
The use of brick enabled a design response to context with strong colour choices in a robust material that has stood the test of time.