Collaborators: Northrop Engineers
Contractor: Waterside ConstructionsWaterside Constructions
Developer: Lateral Estate
Text description provided by the architects. This multi-unit project in Zetland, aka ‘Eton’, is Stage 2 of the Emerald Park masterplan of the former Email industrial site that is situated on the western side of Joynton Avenue, between O’Dea Avenue and McPherson Lane. Emerald Park encapsulates the essence of Green Square – sustainability, diversity and affordability – principles derived from the seminal Masterplan for the area. The central communal courtyard is a calm and serene space that provides outlook from apartments, sociability and cross-site pedestrian pathways, complementing the magnificent and iconic fig trees on Joynton Avenue and the generous, project-funded public park - an expansion of Mary O’Brien Reserve at the south end of the site.
The L-shaped building has a modern aesthetic that expresses the aspirations of the project and its spirit of innovation and environmental excellence. The expression of the facades responds to the site, sun control, construction, technology, apartment amenity and mix. The project has 174 dwellings, a dwelling density equivalent to 262 dwellings per hectare; and 16,509sqm floor area and 2:1 FAR on a site area of 6,650sqm.
The project is a unique opportunity to create an architectural aesthetic based on environmental and abstract principles, untainted by sentimentality and overworked contextual gestures. The appearance of the building avoids the overused expression of cellular, crate-like elements. Special attention hasbeen given to the composition of building elements and materiality, and adjusting facades to maximise solar access.
The 9 storey building has clearly expressed built forms with strong volumetric components defined by clear material expression and connected by aerial bridges along the western boundary that span across the public pedestrian through-site way, contributing to the building’s social network and public engagement. The building is composed of active and free-styled wall planes that are contrasted with the metal screens and glazing that wrap around precast forms at higher and lower levels and into vertical slots. The interplay of the two predominant materials, solid and lightweight, masonry and metal provides a distinct andunifying expression to the building forms.
The ‘dancing’ balconies to the east and north facades, and ‘suncatchers’ to the west facade add a dynamic to the facades that contrasts with the restrainedappearance of the perforated, sun screens and cladding. The southern façade is marked by simple and restrained volumes with a vertical emphasis. The building colours are black and midtone greys with yellow accents in the body of the building and mid-tone silver in the metal screens and cladding at higher levels, andcorresponding gunmetal grey and metallic silver glazing and balustrade frames.
The accommodation is 174 dwellings suited to a variety of lifestyles. The dwelling mix is 44 x 1 beds (25%), 123 x 2 beds (71%) and 7 x 3 beds (4%), all in single or double level plans including 27 (15%) adaptable dwellings. The post-GFC dwelling layouts are diverse, comprising 2-bed ‘snorkels’, 2-bed ‘cross-overs’, 2-bed ‘dual-aspect’ and 1-bed ‘compacts’. SOHO units with home offices are located at ground level along the pedestrian way to encourage smallscale, home-based, business activity.