PARK SQUARE IN SPOTLIGHT
DRAGONFLY INSPIRES FORM
VYING for an award at Friday’s WA Architecture Awards is this East Victoria Park project by Klopper & Davis Architects, which sets an exemplary standard for urban infill developments across the metropolitan.
The 24-unit complex at 696 Albany Highway, dubbed the Park Square apartments, combines one and two-bedroom residences with 500sqm of commercial space, 48 covered car bays and common facilities.
The apartments were designed for a variety of owners, including one two-bedroom apartment aimed at a small family with a dedicated main bedroom, a reduced second bedroom and a large shared living space.
Another two-bedroom apartment features a central living space with two mirrored bedrooms on either side, designed for shared living arrangements such as FIFO workers in mind.
“The form of the building loosely draws inspiration from a dragonfly, with wings folded over a central building spine,” Klopper & Davis Architects’ Sam Klopper said.
“The interface with the street is deliberately urban and layered to respond to the existing street fabric.”
During the project, emphasis was placed on developing the Albany Highway elevation.
“This creates a stronger and more defined active streetscape, but also creates large set-back light wells to the rear, which allows for future developments to enjoy light to rear apartments and is a responsible first step in considered urban infill,” Mr Klopper said. “We also worked collaboratively with the council to develop new guidelines for the development of existing car yards on Albany Highway.”
This integrated design process allowed a design with a plot ratio of 1.3 and an extra floor of height to be built as an exemplar of contemporary, responsible development.
“At the time, this was the greatest concession granted by the council and the first fourstorey building in this zone.”
A significant piece of urban artwork was also integrated into the building’s design, with a projecting frame created specifically for the piece.
“We enjoyed collaborating with the artist to integrate the public art into the building’s entry,” Mr Klopper said.
“It’s a dynamic and interesting sculptural form which complements the building.
“The cafe on the ground floor shares space with the entry and makes the entry a more vibrant and active space, which is often a strangely soulless space in many apartment developments.”
The WA Architecture Awards, hosted annually by the Australian Institute of Architects, honour excellence in design and construction and demonstrate the significant contribution architects makes to the quality of WA’s built environment.