Francis Street Apartments

Project Status: Completed in 2011
Location: Bondi, NSW

Photography: Brett Boardman

AIA NSW Architecture Award Multiple Housing, 2011

This building comprises of six apartments over three levels and replaces a three storey free standing brick apartment block of five self-contained units. Sitting on a 530 square metre site in Bondi, the land has an 8.5 metre fall from the rear (south) boundary to the street (north) boundary. The building is surrounded on two sides and the rear by three and four storey rendered apartment buildings.

The forms achieved in the scoop of the penthouse apartment echo a series of waves in concrete and capture the light across a full spectrum during the changing day and seasons.

As a contribution to the wider community, the project signifies a new approach to the challenge of residential apartment building within a suburban context. There was substantial community consultation, which resulted in many adjustments being made before the final design was selected.

Large floor to ceiling openings allow substantial light into all units, reducing the need for artificial light and hence power usage. The glass fa├žades are set deep into the balconies and are protected from the sun by blade walls and timber screens.

Unpainted raw material finishes have been utilised to reduce maintenance over the lifetime of the building through no requirement to repaint surfaces. High quality, long-lasting materials such as sandstone, off-form concrete and rendered brick, contribute to the building’s ability to age well over time.

There are substantial landscape zones to the front and sides of the ground floor units that offer both a refreshing green belt and privacy screen. Some of this screen will follow up to the floors above over time, where privacy is not so much an issue, allowing for a marriage with the already established native growth in the adjacent properties to the east and west.