Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - RESIDENTIAL -

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.

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