Dutton Street Architecture & Art

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Dutton Street Architecture & Art

Commendation NSW Architecture Awards 2010, Multiple Housing. Jury Citation: This is an exemplar development through its plan. The simple exterior walls made of precast concrete enable a lesson in architectural composition and simplicity; with inboard balconies and a simple rectangular form, the building is able to economically redress the now familiar poor planning in buildings of a similar type and economic constraint. The plan provides a clear strategy disciplined around the necessary sourcing of light and privacy to each room but enabling sound amenity despite the simple plan and the lack of surface area in facades. The facades take the disciplined approach of one highlight colour and one understating colour to offer a presence to the street that is at once contextual and new. This project rationalises the constraints in which it is working and achieves its strength through those constraints to offer a simple, though not obvious, lesson about the economy and richness of form in a plan.

Redshift's Statement: As the first apartment building to be designed and built under Bankstown Council's new Yagoona Town Centre plans, this development presented the opportunity to establish a benchmark. The new apartments have been designed with an eye to future urban development whilst remaining sympathetic to the current context. Of foremost concern was achieving a high level of residential amenity, and ensuring this amenity into the future. It was, therefore, important to remain cognisant of potential impacts of the envisaged higher density developments in the town centre. All of this was undertaken in a context where consideration of broader issues of urban design, amenity, delight, and architectural expression are secondary to the conventions and tighter budgets commensurate with developments in western Sydney.

The apartment design has been conceived about two defining propositions that were developed concurrently. The first was to step the built mass in scale down from the highway, and to define a shared landscape and the space of the street through the arrangement of building volumes. The second proposition was to recess the balconies, or loggias, within the volume of the building. The architectural expression was then developed around it's precast concrete construction, which was developed to create a richer, complex expression to the buildings.

The completed development sits comfortably within the current context. The generous shared landscape contributes to both the amenity of site and streetscape alike. Strong volumes are punctuated by bold panels of colour and deep shadows play within the recesses of the loggias and across textured concrete with the sun's movement. Apartments are thoughtfully planned with the majority of habitable rooms arranged around recessed balconies or loggias. In turn, these loggias provide both oblique and direct solar access and outlook, improved privacy, along with improved opportunities for natural ventilation.

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