Rooms with a view

Improving the public streetscape with new ideas for apartment building

by James 29 November 2012
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    This project is a significant departure from the typical mid-rise, multi-family residential 'box with balconies' by an original design response to site conditions and surrounding context. The municipal requirement of a 7.5m setback from the street property line results in a typical building block with a 16m setback for the fourth floor measured diagonally from the property line.

    The architects have elected to use this position of the fourth floor as a starting point and maintain the same diagonal distance to each subsequent lower floor resulting in a 16m landscaped open space enhancing the quality of the streetscape and preserving the privacy of single-family residences across the street.

    With repetition of almost the same floor plans this design decision enabled us to create generous terraces on the opposite side of the building overlooking a golf course and ocean beaches beyond. Expansive glazing takes the most benefit of these views and sun exposure from early morning. The orientation of the building and exposure of each apartment to both the east and west optimises natural daylight and allows for sun penetration on one side in the morning and the other side in the afternoon along with natural cross ventilation.

    To soften up the form of the building the floor plans evolved following the natural curve of the topography of the embankment and the curvature of the property lines. Viewed from the golf course the resulting optical effect of the curved façade and floors terracing back is a building that appears to be diminishing with each added floor, although in reality all floors are almost identical size and form.


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