The design concept for the project is two, twelve storey forms around a tempered central courtyard that functions as a breezeway and bio-sink of cool air that creates an invigorating and refreshing environment, with open gallery walkways. The courtyard is protected by a glazed canopy structure that is essentially a large, conservatory-like shade structure with fritted glass and metal louvres on its sides for wet weather protection to the pedestrian walkways and to collect rainwater for the irrigation of planting. The central courtyard is an external space that has been detailed and dimensioned to avoid its designation as an atrium which would inhibit an open naturally ventilated environment connected to the apartments.
It is an example of ‘eco design’ that responds to its location and setting to create a ‘green aesthetic’. The built form is distinctive with living spaces articulated with recesses, ledges and a codified rhythm of balconies and bedrooms to produce a vibrant free-styled expression. The front and rear elevations have a varied and fine grain expression, created by reversing the apartment layouts on alternating levels in a ‘checker board’ arrangement to avoid a repetitive ‘pancake’, ‘fruit salad’ or ‘cut and paste’ appearance of many flat buildings in the area; the building will become a model for invention and expression. The north-west side elevation is marked by a dramatic vertical green screen of planting to the central courtyard. The south-east side elevation is punctuated by the metal and glass clad lift core and void recesses, visual extensions of the courtyard walkways.
Communal open space to the level 13 south roof terrace is centred on health and well-being with a garden area for herbs and vegetables as well as fruit trees (olives and citrus), walking track to define an exercise lawn with fixed equipment and space for tai chi, yoga and stretching. The northern roof terrace incorporates small gathering spaces, BBQ area with fixed bench and seats with umbrellas, informal seating area with moveable café style tables and chairs, sun lounge area, movable sun lounges and fixed daybeds, and vine covered pergola.
The green screen on the north-west façade of the central courtyard uses a wire rope system assists with the natural ventilation of the courtyard as the end facade is largely open – it is not a green wall which is a fixed structure on a blank wall.
Planter boxes are fixed to the walkways around the central courtyard, backed up by an irrigation system, to enrich the space and improve the pedestrian experience; palm trees, ferns and ground cover are planted on the lower level central courtyard.
Type: Hybrid/ Live/ Work
Location: 32-38 Montgomery Street, Kogarah, NSW Sydney, Australia
Year: 2017 - ongoing
Client: Lateral Estate
Site area: 1347 sqm (1,000sqm retail, 5,062sqm residential)
Floor Space Ratio: 4.5:1
Height: 12 storeys
Collaborators: NBRS Landscape, Planning Ingenuity
Builder: Waterside Construction
Digital Imagery: Narrative