2021 Western Australia Architecture Awards: Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing
Marina East | Hames Sharley
“Hames Sharley’s Marina East project explores the concepts of water, the jetty and the boatshed in an architectural, playful lifestyle expression. Thanks to its unique location and a design that’s tailored to the individual, Marina East is more than just housing – it’s a diverse and rich community. With one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments on offer, there is an opportunity for people from a wide range of financial capabilities to live in this beautiful part of Ascot.
The development taps into notions of water, beauty and ecology – attributes for which Perth is widely envied. Its unique position sees it surrounded by water on three sides, with the fourth facing north over an existing plaza. The site’s irregular shape informs the positions of the buildings: by perching them on the location’s periphery, Hames Sharley sought to maximise the spaces between each while creating an area for the community to congregate in the central podium landscape.
Maximising the distance between each build also increases privacy, and allows for better solar access, cross ventilation and access to views for residents. Overall, the feeling is of being part of three exclusive, bespoke developments, rather than a single large one.
The height of the buildings has been considered extensively, as regards context with their neighbours. The closest building to the existing residents and Plaza (Building A) comprises only three levels plus a ground-floor commercial tenancy/café facing the water and the plaza. This reflects a similar scale to its neighbours and ensures it does not dominate and overshadow existing homes. At the same time, the commercial tenancy/café adds opportunities for activation at ground level.
The concept of the boathouse is reinforced in the architecture, with the apartments, BBQ pavilions and kayak room recalling the relaxed and lightweight feel of a place that caters to security, leisure and further interaction. Meanwhile, in both its balcony and form profile, the site as a whole reflects the water lapping at the shore; its ever-changing form provides unique vistas, and a variety and playfulness that encourages the residents to be part of the landscape.
Marina East was delivered by an integrated team. With the product type and size varying between each building and each floor, the project needed precise assessment from all the consultants to ensure the outcome was successful and aesthetically pleasing.
The project budget was spent wisely, focusing on the visual elements for the building. As well as celebrating the site’s beauty within its context, the design also ensured privacy and legible wayfinding; the lobbies, the private outdoor space, the amenities and the internalised boardwalks all combine in a place of harmony, reflection and calm.
Sustainability was also a critical consideration: the separation of buildings, promotion of cross-ventilation via plentiful corner apartments, and provision of shade and privacy were both essential aspects.
The result is an apartment building that complements and sits comfortably in its natural surroundings. A benchmark for integrating in place, Marina East’s design and development is sympathetic, contextual, relevant and appropriate in form, scale, and aesthetic.”
A truly unique site with water frontage on three sides, nestled on the Ascot Waters Marina in Perth allowed Hames Sharley to craft a design response truly befitting the location. With three separate structures providing distinct river, marina and parkland views Hames Sharley addressed the massing of the structure to allow the natural features of the site to permeate the apartment and communal facilities. They have designed a retreat for Owners, an oasis within the City, reinforced by the extensive use of natural materials to tie the development, and those that call it home, to the site.