The architecture of the buildings responds primarily to three concepts: the interface of the buildings with the open space; the response to the wider landscape setting and views; and built form articulation through surface treatment and controlled variation. The siting of the lower 6 to 10 storey buildings reinforces the open spaces, step down the hill and and emphasise the topography of the site. The taller tower is designed to both complement its landscape setting and maintain its identity as a bold, modern addition to the cityscape. The tower and mid height tower are at opposite ends of the site and are similar in expression and anchor the proposal, providing urban markers when viewed from the east and west along Epping Road.
The tower, and its mid height companion, have been designed to be buildings ‘in-the-round’. Unlike urban buildings in urban renewal areas such as Victoria Park or in urban centres defined by street blocks they are designed to be viewed from the corners, ‘without a front or back’. The forms have been adjusted to create ‘opposing asymmetry’, thereby allowing the built form to be mirrored on opposing corners. The apartment layouts are planned with living rooms on the corners to enjoy the expansive district and distant views. The horizontal emphasis of the facades within vertical columns create panoramic, rather than blinkered, views from all apartments. The lower 6 storey buildings extend along the terraces and have an outlook and view to both the north and south, and maximising solar access.
The facades of the buildings are finished in treated, precast concrete and glass. The horizontal ribbons of the towerwrap around the two opposing corners and are expressed as balconies, overhangs and horizontal screens. The geometry of the ribbons is ‘flipped’ on alternative levels to create a complex surface texturing that has an organic appearance ‘like the bark of a tree trunk’. The external expression relies on detail rather than overstated façade modulation and clustering, more appropriate to urban residential tower forms. The surface texturing provides pedestrian scale and shadowing of the facades. The tower form is given vertical emphasis by changes to the surface treatment. Natural light and service slots for condenser units are used to further emphasise the verticality of the tower. Particular emphasis has been given to the prominent corners to Epping Road. All balustrades are glazed to optimise the outlook and view from the dewellings. The colours of the buildings vary from dark to light tones. The lower buildings are mid-tone grey and the higher buildings are a warm white tone.
Type: Live / Learn
Location: 150 Epping Road, Lane Cove, Australia
Status: Limited competition
Client: Meriton Pty Ltd
Number of storeys: 6 to 24
Site area: 31,740 sqm
Floor area: 35,0500 sqm
Number of apartments: 338
Digital imagery: David Duloy, Stanisic Architects