We come from the point of view in our projects that every apartment should be treated like a home; the hardware and the doors and the thresholds being more like we might find in an architect’s own home. Bringing quality into apartment buildings that humanise the apartment building just makes a mood feel far more organic.
We like to really consider key moments and your front door is one of those moments that really sets the mood of how you experience the apartment and what your expectation is for what lies beyond that front door. The level of detail undertaken here is certainly appreciated by the new occupants of the building. The sliding windows within the entry doors that allow flat and air through the front doors is a really beautiful design feature and I think it’s one of the things that the owners now say is something that they love about their homes. Our design approach is the same with all of our developments. We want to make sure that it has an underlying common design DNA that people will appreciate as a Milieu project. There’s a natural evolution to the projects we work on with Milieu Property in that we start with some aligned core values and visioning for the project. Here it was diversity of types and a strong sense of passive design.
The selection of brass throughout the project is just an example of trying to bring the exteriors of the common spaces from the front mailbox through to the internal core of the courtyard. It reinforces a sentiment that there is a tactile human quality to the project. We’ve got core drivers in our practice to design with empathy so layering up of that thinking through highly textual finishes and textures is something that then solidifies that overarching thinking.
The sites offered up many opportunities but it also had some very key constraints. We’ve got buildings that land lock us from the North and the South of the site and really only natural light ventilation from the East-West orientations. The way that we dealt with this was to design a building that’s really two separate buildings with an open-air circulation connected by a series of sky bridges which allows natural light and air to be appreciated from dual aspects within each of the apartments.
It’s really celebrated and it’s actually a work of art that’s painted in a way that looks like it’s been here forever. The idea is that we can have people being able to not only have light and air to both sides of the apartment but also a space in which they can share together as a community. I think what we’re most proud about is that when you design apartments you don’t know who you’re designing them for so you try and create a framework which will create a home for someone that they can make their own and when we walk through the apartments here everyone’s really taken ownership over their own apartment and added to the design and it shows that it is the framework for someone to create their own life and their own way of living within the apartment.
I think the thing that I’m most proud of is seeing how people are living in the spaces. People’s own personal choices in the way that they style furnish their dwellings is quite unique and it’s a real joy to be able to see people add their own personality to their space. It’s great to see the sense of community that’s evolving here over what has just been a short period of time so far, there’s Juliet balconies where the residents become really engaged with the public realm below of Napier Street. You see architecture having a broader reach to the established communities and it just doesn’t sit as a single project on its own but has wider implications to the community beyond just the bounds of the site.