Cookie-cutter-style apartments led the way in the 1990s as Australians started to think seriously about ditching their suburban homes. The convenience of living in a city or on the edge of town came with offloading the commute to work and the need to maintain a back garden. However, with new apartment towers ‘rising from the ashes’ every alternative week, buyers can afford to become more selective as to which ‘mould’ they feel comfortable living in.
Bird de la Coeur Architects recently completed the Claremont Mannor development in South Yarra, Melbourne. Located in Claremont Street, the 19-storey apartment development takes the form of two interlocking towers, one clad in black glass, the other in clear and white glass. The clear/white glass tower is rectilinear in form, while the other one, the black form, ‘kinks’ out with a curved façade. “The idea started with a ‘Ying and Yang’ concept, with the two forms and colour palettes forming a certain degree of tension,” says architect Vanessa Bird. Claremont Manor, led by the practice’s director Neil de la Coeur and project architect Michaela Kalinka, features apartment interiors led by HASSELL.
While the Claremont Manor apartments have impressive city views and the benefit of public transport on the doorstep (South Yarra railway station), it’s the generosity of the community amenities that sets these towers apart. Residents enter through an origami-like canopy and are welcomed by a sculptural timber-batten staircase that leads to a business centre. A glass-sided swimming pool, gymnasium and sauna, together with a café, create a sense of community, as does the communal media/cinema room. “These facilities were im电竞下载iosed for every resident, whether they live in a one-bedroom apartment or the penthouse,” says Bird.
Bird de la Coeur Architects also understands the importance of creating apartments that will remain attractive in the long term. “Most discerning buyers realise that views can be built out, so it’s important to create a high level of amenity within the building’s footprint,” says Bird. The apartments include one and two-bedroom (from 50 to 80 square metres) as well as three-bedroom apartments and penthouses on the top level. All apartments feature timber floors and customised detailing, such as folded steel vanity units in bathrooms and ensuites.
Stanic Harding Architects also appreciates the need to deliver quality in the apartment market, giving as much attention as the practice does when im电竞下载iosing bespoke homes. The architectural practice reworked a number of apartments in Bondi, Sydney, overlooking the Bondi ‘Icebergs’. One of the apartments (pictured) is on the top floor of the 1980s three-storey building. This two-bedroom apartment, approximately 115 square metres in size, was virtually gutted by Stanic Harding, retaining only the ‘bones’ and the wrap-around balustrade on the terrace.
Once the interior was removed, new polyurethane joinery was inserted into the open plan kitchen and living area. The original laundry was also reconfigured to make way for an ensuite to the main bedroom. And as the ceiling heights in the Bondi apartment are relatively low, at only 2.4 metres, Stanic Harding included mirrors on a number of walls. “This increases the sense of space, but also reflects the views out to Bondi Beach,” says architect Andy Harding, co-director of the practice.
The architects also used large format ceramic tiles on the living room, kitchen and bedroom floors to create a more seamless and streamlined contemporary interior. And to add a sense of warmth, a new gas fire was installed in the living area. “There are so many apartments out there where you know exactly what to expect before you even open the front door. But apartment living can offer so much more, creating the unexpected and a high level of bespoke detailing,” adds Harding.
Bird de la Coeur architects can be contacted on 03 9682 4566 or at
Stanic Harding Architects can be contacted on 02 9300 0119 or at stanicharding.com.au
About the Author: Stephen Crafti
Stephen Crafti has been writing about im电竞下载ios and architecture since the early 1990s and is a regular contributor to im电竞下载ios. Inspired by the architecture around him in Melbourne, Australia, he was keen to share the things he saw, whether buildings, furniture, fashion or other stunning pieces of contemporary im电竞下载ios. After many years of wri ting about his favourite things, and with numerous books and articles behind him, Crafti still delights in discovering and promoting exhilarating im电竞下载ios. He is a regular contributor to several Australian newspapers and local and international im电竞下载ios magazines.
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