A boutique 20-unit development across three sites in one of Canberra’s much sought after Inner North suburbs, O’Connor.
Developments within this area of Canberra are faced with a number of exclusive and stringent planning controls which, while created with the best outcomes of the city in mind, are often not suited to all site conditions.
In particular, construction within the rear zone of these blocks is reduced to 30%, which includes basement structures - a considerate initiative to ensure higher density developments still allow for deep root planting throughout the suburb. However when the site is afforded 3 frontages, as is the case with this development, this “rear” zone of limited development becomes the centre of the site, the prime area for redevelopment. A number of significant trees, including one adjacent the desired location of the driveway, and power lines running through the site servicing the adjacent section of residential blocks, added further to the challenges of developing this site.
The amalgamation of the three sites and careful planning around these constraints resulted in a mix of one and two bedroom apartments all fronting either the quiet loop street, the adjacent nature reserve or the internal gardens. The units are designed in a way to maximise space by minimising internal corridors and in turn offer comfortable living areas in contrast to the current trend of pokey or compact layouts of contemporary unit developments.
Simplicity in form, finely articulated and finished, creates an elegant presence enhanced further by smart details such as the glass balustrades, frosted where extended below the balcony levels to conceal these slab edges. This is continued internally on the stair wells of the common foyers.
A mix of painted render and two tones of aluminium composite panels give the building visual interest while reducing maintenance. The facades are cleverly articulated to conceal downpipes, with small nibs providing the dual purpose of articulation and the opportunity for privacy & screening from the public domain. Between unit balconies, aluminium framed privacy screens with opaque glass infill panels add to the contemporary and streamline design. Ground level terraces incorporate a tiled area carefully planned on the ground level slab over the basement area, as well as large landscaped gardens.
Entering the complex, large double voids in the common foyer spaces create a light and airy first experience of the building. Moving into the units, the ceiling lowers over the entry before opening up again to 2.7m high ceilings across the living, dining and main bedroom areas. Bedrooms consist of a mix of built in robes, with contemporary opaque glass doors to match the theme of the external privacy screens and the cavity sliders of the studies, and walk in robes.
Full height windows throughout as well as sliding doors with two operable leafs allow the units to open right up to visually and physically connect their internal spaces with the adjacent landscapes of the reserve and the on-site communal gardens, including the focal point of the large eucalypt that was retained.
Bathrooms consist of floating vanities, full width mirror cupboards, ceiling mounted shower heads, cavity sliding laundry cupboards, frameless shower screens and doors. Use of large tiles create seem less splashbacks in the kitchens and bathrooms.
Square set edges, built in pelmets, soft close cupboards and drawers, magnetic door stops, lazy susan and pull out pantries all add to the smart and finely finished details.
High quality craftsmanship and finish is continued right down into the basement with secure, fully concealed and private storage units with solid doors and sensor lights.
Tenants can feel at ease with the security system monitoring the site via video surveillance.
Energy efficient initiatives such as solar access, double glazing, awnings and solar lighting to the communal gardens help ensure the units within this development rate up to 7.5 stars.
This development has exceeded the surrounding market trend in terms of detail and finish and provided the area a sensitive development of high quality and elegance delivered by a team not content with anything less. We thank all who were involved in this outstanding development.