It’s not often that a council constraint is as welcome as Woollahra Council’s residential apartment building height code, which forces all units built on sloping sites such as Bellevue Hill to step and follow the contours of the land. Terraced apartments are not a new building type; the style began with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and was later taken up by the first Modernists such as Richard Neutra in Los Angeles, Robert Mallet-Stevens in Paris, and here in Sydney with the Wyldefel Gardens at Potts Point.
These recently completed stepped apartments are endowed with large terraces and private gardens ideal for those who wish to downsize from a suburban house. These terraces are constructed with robust concrete edge beams to provide substantial awning structures. The concrete is left exposed and horizontally fluted to provide a robust texture.
Project architect, Edward Birch collaborated seamlessly with a team of trusted consultants and contractors including: landscape architect, William Dangar, interior designer, Romaine Alwill of Alwill Interiors, structural engineer, Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners, one of Sydney’s best builders, GNC Quality and skilled joiner, Stiven Mihajlovic of Sydney Joinery, to achieve the highest levels design and finishes.
Often, residential flats are designed with a rubber stamp; a repetition of plans, details and materials; the fruits of lazy architects or developers and their ovine 🐑 psychology. However, terraced apartments need individual layouts to suit the topography and the different arrival points of the vertical lift circulation. Further, these three apartments have been personalised with different finishes and interior design by Romaine Alwill.
From the street, the appearance of the apartment block is of a single storey residence to maintain the existing residential pattern of the street and to soften the impact of the recent rezoning of the area for residential flats. This strategy helped to achieve supportive Council approval of the development.
Australian Institute of Architects NSW Architecture Awards 2018
Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing – Award
Location: Bellevue Hill, Sydney NSW
Design Architect: Luigi Rosselli
Project Architect: Edward Birch
Interior Designer: Romaine Alwill of Alwill Interiors Pty Ltd
Builder: GNC Quality Pty Ltd
Structural Consultant: Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners Pty Ltd
Joiner: Sydney Joinery Pty Ltd
Landscaper: William Dangar of Dangar Associates Pty Ltd
Photography: Prue Roscoe, Edward Birch