- Perth, Western Australia
Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) - High-Density Development Award - 2020
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Essence Apartments encapsulates a balance of vibrancy and intimacy for its residents through the design response that focuses on the end-user’s desires and comfort while still playing its role in its important local context.
Developed by Blackburne Property Group and designed and executed by Hames Sharley, Essence Apartments activates, engages and responds to its landmark position, responding appropriately to its corner location and to the public open spaces that surround it. Reacting to its key social, environmental and physical contexts; the development provides an external face that is both active and engaging and encourages a sense of identity.
Essence Apartments provides an active and diverse built environment encouraging strong engagement amongst its residential population and the wider local community.
What was the project brief?
The key objective for this development was to successfully deliver a high-quality mixed-use development with an activated ground floor and a diverse range of apartment typologies to cater for a wide cross-section of the community. Delivering a quality retail and permeable ground floor was critical to establish the integration of the project into its greater context.
What were the challenges of the project?
The site is required to be activated on all sides and although not unique for the precinct, there were some additional challenges on this site that needed consideration. The surroundings of the park, road and train line frontage, as well as environmental considerations in particularly, westerly sun and light penetration were some of the key environmental considerations for the site. It was also adjacent to a functioning football oval, so construction sequencing and safety was critical.
What was your solution?
The design evolved out of a few simple principles. Firstly, to focus on the end-user and their desire to connect with the surrounds. Secondly, focus on activation and ensure that spaces are functional and dispersed so that residents and occupants engage with the public realm. Also pushing the design guidelines “envelope” for the good of safety and amenity was received well as we looked to add a crossover to the site to maintain all service vehicles stay in forwarding gear and additional height for public spaces for all to enjoy and gather as a community. These simple moves allowed us to stay focused on the principles of the project and align our product to meet market needs.