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Large balconies, comprehensive soundproofing and an emphasis on space – just some of the functional design elements integrated into these riverside apartments

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While a new building may be recognised for the look of its exterior structure, the overall success of the design lies in the execution of both exterior and interior spaces and the integration of functionality with comfort.

"So much of what is acknowledged as good architecture is impressive from the outside, but not entirely comfortable to live in," says SC Land co-director Lance Chu who, along with Chenghan Tan, developed the Cygne Crawley Edge apartments in Perth.

SC Land's focus on achieving a high standard of comfort in the interior, using the basic principles of view, cool, quiet and space, saw the company win the Australian Apartment Project of the Year at the 2007 Housing Industry Awards.

However, the riverside project was not without its challenges, says Chu.

"For panoramic views, the 40m frontage was an advantage. We knew that to maximise views, the building would be comprised mainly of glass, but that this would influence the sound quality of the apartments and privacy of the residents."

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To avoid creating one large building, SC Land designed two smaller seven-storey masses separated by a glass lift lobby. Each block has one apartment per level, and a 50m2 balcony wraps around each apartment. The balconies are modulated to obscure road views and enhance river views.

The smallest apartment is 234m2 while the penthouse is 309m2. All apartments have 3.1m-high ceilings and 2.7m-high doors. Rather than build to the maximum permissible height, SC Land created wide apartments with river views from every principle room.

"The apartments look hunkered down, which creates a sense of balance and permanence," says Chu.

Each balcony has been designed to provide generous space for outdoor entertaining. Freestanding glass balustrades combined with the solid concrete upstands creates a sense of privacy and solidity.

For effective soundproofing, G. James French doors were installed with 12.38mm-thick, triple-sealed glass, while the floors, window frames and major services are fully insulated.

This insulation has the added advantage of helping maintain the controlled temperature of the commercial grade VRV air conditioning system. The appliances are discreetly integrated and out of sight, to provide an uncluttered and comfortable interior.

First published date: 28 September 2007

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Credit List

Location Cygne Crawley Edge Apartments, Perth
Developer Chenghan Tan and Lance Chu, SC Land
Architect SC Land Design with McDonald Jones Architects
Construction company Pindan
Roofing Colourbond
Cladding Zinc
Hardware Designer Doorware Window and door joinery Supreme Windows
Blinds Derrek Sambroock
Flooring and wall tiles Bernini
Bathrooms Hoescht
Sanitaryware Philippe Starck for Duravit
Kitchen appliances Gaggenau from Sampford & Staff
Audio wiring B&O
Insulation Dribond
Air conditioning Daikin VRV by Admirable Lighting Claremont Electrical
Signage Varisigns