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Mondrian

MONDRIAN is the most eco-responsive living environment in Green Square – it is the greenest building in Green Square. It is an innovative project that sets new standards for environmental design. It is a climatically responsive modern box, green as well as white. The project is focused on performance as well as aesthetics. MONDRIAN combines an artistic and scientific approach to apartment design. It has exceptional and dynamic qualities of space, natural light, sun access and airflow to achieve high personal comfort and low levels of energy consumption.

The architectural concept for MONDRIAN is a perforated wall, operable and transparent to allow the movement of cool air, reflection of heat in summer, absorption of warming sun in winter and access of light to animate the spacious interiors. The building is like the radiator of a motor car – thin, cellular panels designed for the cross flow of air based on temperature differences and breezes, rather than a motor driven propeller.

The architecture of MONDRIAN is direct yet layered, with strong grids, double height spaces and two storey apartments to create the experience of space, light and air. The buildings’ expression is based on abstract compositions – linear, horizontal and vertical lines with planes of aluminium screens, precast panels and glazing.

MONDRIAN consists of four slim-line buildings separated by finger courtyards. The ingenious building cross-section with living areas and balconies to the north and glass enclosed access galleries and related entry stairs to the south achieves a sustainable environment where low levels of energy consumption is balanced with high personal comfort. The buildings have hot and cool sides to create induced air currents - natural air conditioning.

The heights of the buildings vary from four to seven storeys and are distributed to define public spaces and minimise the overshadowing of open space. The building courtyards are multi-functional spaces that provide ground level access to apartments, separation between habitable rooms, pools, seating and planting.

The project extends the public domain with a publicly accessible pocket park and through-site pedestrian way that connects Powell Street to Short Street.

MONDRIAN perfectly defines the innovative environmental and urban principles developed for Green Square. MONDRIAN is the ‘greenest’ development in Green Square. The vision for Green Square, defined was to create a dynamic urban place, an inspirational and sustainable living and working environment for the 21st century, possessed with the spirit of a new sensibility.

MONDRIAN aims to implement the innovative environmental and urban principles developed for Green Square in the Structural Master Plan. MONDRIAN has responded to ten key environmental principles as follows:

PRINCIPLE 01: MINIMISE ENERGY CONSUMPTION
MONDRIAN has an unprecedented level of energy efficiency for an apartment building. South Sydney’s Council’s standard of energy consumption is a NatHERS (Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme) rating of 3.5 stars. Based on an assessment of energy efficiency of the proposed development prepared by VIPAC Scientists and Engineers, nearly all apartments receive a 4.0-5.0 star rating, with the majority receiving a 5.0 star rating. The project incorporates passive and active energy saving features.

PRINCIPLE 02: MAXIMISE SOLAR ACCESS AND DAYLIGHT
All MONDRIAN’s 137 apartments, except three, have north-facing living areas with controlled solar access and daylight. Most apartments are double orientated and extend the full width of the building.

PRINCIPLE 03: MAXIMISE NATURAL VENTILATION
Nearly all MONDRIAN’s 137 apartments are double orientated and extend the full width of the building cross ventilation from front to back to cool the interiors and reduce or eliminate reliance on air conditioning in summer. Living areas and balconies of apartments are orientated to capture north-east land-sea breezes in summer and shielded from cold southerly and westerly winds in winter.

PRINCIPLE 04: UTILISE SOLAR CONTROL AND SHADING
MONDRIAN utilises operable and fixed sun control and shading. Use of fixed and sliding aluminium grating screens and sunhoods.

PRINCIPLE 05: MAXIMISE GREEN SPACE
MONDRIAN is planned with slender building forms and individual finger courtyards. Over 60% of site is open space in the form of garden courts, communal courtyards, through site pedestrian ways or public park.

PRINCIPLE 06: DEVELOP ‘SMART’ BUILDING FORMS AND CIRCULATION FOR ACTIVE AND PASSIVE ENERGY RESPONSE
MONDRIAN consists of four slim-line or slender apartment buildings, separated by linear garden courtyards. The buildings are planned around an ingenious system of natural light filled access galleries connected to lift lobbies, located on the southern side of buildings. Artificially lit, double-loaded corridors, have been eliminated. Most lift lobbies are double storey spaces. All living areas extend from inside onto outside spaces in the form of garden courts, expansive sky courts, generous balconies and sunlit roof terraces.

PRINCIPLE 07: ACHIEVE DIVERSITY OF ACCOMMODATION
MONDRIAN has an extensive mix of apartments types. Over 30 different apartment layouts incorporating one and two storey apartments. 30% two storey apartment/terraces and maisonettes with one, two and three bedrooms.

PRINCIPLE 08: UTILISE EFFICIENT ENERGY SOURCES
MONDRIAN utilises gas hot water heating boosted by solar energy panels located on building roofs; gas for cooktops and space heating.

PRINCIPLE 09: UTILISE ON-SITE WATER MANAGEMENT
MONDRIAN incorporates a public park on Powell Street which also functions as a detention basin and ‘bio-sink’ for site-based stormwater management of roof and ground water and filtration of water into the water table.

PRINCIPLE 10: UTILISE LOW EMBODIED ENERGY MATERIALS
MONDRIAN utilises precast concrete panels for external walls and concrete for floor slabs.

Data

Type: Live
Location: 2-4 Powell Street, Waterloo, Sydney, Australia
Status: Completed
Year: 2002
Client: St Hilliers Developments
Number storeys: 4-7
Site area: 5,598 sqm
Floor area: 11,297 sqm
Collaborators: McGregor and Partners Landscape Architects, Ruth Levine Design Interior Designer
Photography: Patrick Bingham-Hall
Awards:
RAIA Wilkinson Award, Residential 2003
MBA Excellence in Housing Award 2003
FGS/TAS Gold Medal Green Building Award 2004
SDDC Green Square Design Commendation 2002

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