Palmyra

PALMYRA, MAURITIUS Palmyra is a high density residential development in Mauritius with a usable space of 3147.74sq.m. on a plot of only 12346.0sq.m. Fronting a river with hills forming a backdrop on the north-east side, the apartments are planned in a manner that orients most of them towards the north. Planned in four wings, each with four apartments, this 18 level development skirts the south-east and south-west borders of the site creating a large landscaped garden on the north-east corner overlooking the river. Protected from the sun that is in the southern direction throughout the year, the garden is effectively kept cool at all times. With temperatures ranging from 20deg C to 34deg C through the year, the planning creates apartments which need less air conditioning due to their orientation. The southern sides of most apartments are shielded by walls with minimal openings that are oriented towards the east, west and north. Each apartment opens onto large semi sheltered balconies facing the river and the hills beyond, creating a transitional space between the inside and the outside. Cross ventilation is facilitated through the apartments by their planning in response to the south east winds that are prevalent in Mauritius throughout the year. The large built form necessitated by the prevalent rules and the client’s requirements is fragmented into smaller blocks that are interspersed with 24feet high landscaped terraces. Varying slopes create balconies that are partially sheltered and partially open to sky. In addition, some apartments step back creating open to sky terraces facing the hills. These terraces form additional landscaped areas at the upper levels, overlooking the garden below, the river and the hills beyond. Palmyra’s design creates an energy efficient building with cross ventilated apartments largely north oriented, large landscaped spaces at both the community level and the individual level and is scaled down by its architectural form to a more humane scale.

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