Articles / Apartment-design

Contemporary apartment sits above 1950s shops

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The Avenue Apartment is a new take on compact living, with a space that’s both comfortable and sustainable

Internal timber screens and joinery define the stair and circulation spaces and connect to the external timber

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Architect: mcmahon and nerlich architects
Photography by superk photo

From the architect: Avenue Apartment is an exciting new apartment set atop two existing shops in the shopping strip of Victoria Ave in inner city bayside Albert Park.
Accessed by a stair at the rear, the apartment provides first floor living spaces, and second floor bedrooms and bathrooms. Internal spaces are integrated with external terraces and balconies by full height glazing and large sliding doors.
Comfortable living spaces have been augmented by a full width first floor terrace which over the street. Second floor bedrooms and a central ensuite overlook the street and balconies to each bedroom provide additional external living spaces and bay views. Timber and steel detailing provide a rich variety of shade and shadow to the internal and external living spaces.

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Operable blinds, sliding timber batten screens and fixed screens provide gradations of privacy and solar control. On a compact site a generous range of interior and exterior living spaces extend the practices research into urban living. We believe that even with restricted space, good design can create a quality and variety of spaces that allow for a life lived well.
The Avenue Apartment explores urban infill and compact living as a social and environmental sustainability strategy. A new residence is constructed above two existing shops in Albert Park constructed in the 1950's. The surrounding context is two storey Victorian Era shop/houses with upper level cast iron balconies.
The response to context is a contemporary exploration of filtering of light/shade/heat and gradations of public vs private of traditional Victorian verandahs. Balconies for the second floor bedrooms provide a proportional relationship with the neighbours. Verandahs are framed in steel with steel balustrades, timber decking and screening elements. Sliding timber batten screens face the street. Retractable roman blinds cap the balconies to provide solar protection.
We explore the way lives are lived and how architecture can contribute. Comfortable living spaces that extend into outdoor spaces are a core exploration. Living spaces have concrete floors for relaxed beach side living and continuity with the terrace. Full height windows provide visual and conceptual connection while large sliding doors allow flow between inside and outside. The timber screens provide a variety of light and shade conditions through the day.

First published date: 13 June 2017

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