Set on the remarkable escarpment edge of the Birrarung river and Yarra Bend Park, Fenwick endeavours to balance density with porosity, allowing connections to the distant landscape to be drawn deep into the building and through the site to the street.
Three individual pavilions rather than a much larger whole, open up and reframe and hold these connections through the site; the project’s centre becoming a corridor to the valley beyond.
The pavilions, linked by a common basement, push back into the hill, lowering the scale at the street to that of the residential neighbours, increasing in height as they absorb the terrain falling towards the escarpment.
Landscaping has set in motion a desire for the building to become absorbed into the gardens and broader vistas, an apparent ruin, filled with hidden life.
Taking a design approach more akin to a single residential project, Fenwick successfully merges a substantial nine-apartment development into an established residential street.
Scaling to the surrounding context, the building volume is separated into a series of distinct sculpted forms that nestle into a densely planted landscape while stepping down the steep escarpment.
The project exhibits a high level of formal coherence, with sinuous concrete skins enveloping each building form. Detailing is rigorous throughout.
Aaron Roberts, Design Architect
David Flack, Interior Design
Karl Buck, Documenter
Kim Bridgland, Design Architect
Eckersley’s Garden Architecture, Landscape Consultant
GIW Environmental Solutions, ESD Consultant
Northrop Consulting Engineers, Structural Engineer
UPCO URBAN PLANNING COLLECTIVE, Town Planner