When the late afternoon sun hits the façade of Tzannes’ newest mixed use residential and commercial building on the western perimeter of central Sydney, Australia, its more than 1150 anodized aluminium mesh shutters glow pure gold, softly filtering the light into the apartments behind and illuminating the precinct below.
Designed in close collaboration with their client, Loftex and their in-house architects, the 10,000 sq m building replaces several run down, non-heritage four storey warehouses previously on the site with a new mixed use commercial and residential development containing 119 apartments, over 14 levels. Three levels of basement car-parking, bike storage, storage and services are included. The ground floor contains through-site active uses (retail/commercial space) with frontages to James Lane and Day Street, residential lobby, some services and entry to the carpark.
“Our ambition for Day Street apartments was to design an infill building that is both fitting and distinctive in the cityscape of the south western edge of the Sydney CBD, ” said Mladen Prnjatovic, Director of Tzannes and co-design director of the project.
Responding directly to its inner urban condition, the new apartment and commercial use building upgrades the adjoining public domain and rear laneway, providing beauty, amenity and functionality for its new residents and tenants.
The building form is both grounded and floating, comprising two elements: a four storey face brick base anchors it to the streetscape and urban laneways below, above which sits an articulated taller form containing the upper levels of apartments above.
A long, narrow inner urban site presented a number of significant design challenges: east-west only orientation, lack of sun access, overlooking and privacy, both to and from the building, noise, heat load on western elevation and future-proofing for possible development on adjoining sites.
The four storey face brickwork building base occupies the entire site. Designed as a sculpted yet singular element, its height, materiality and detail provide a contemporary reference to the building it replaces.
“ We worked with the brick warehouses that were once the predominant building type in the area as a reference for the character, detail and scale of the architecture, ” said Ben Green, co- design director and Director, Tzannes. “Above the base we imagined a warm lantern-like tower, designed around an active system of folding gold colour screens that ensure all apartments have excellent solar and privacy control, an abundance of light, and views.”
Residential levels above the base are more open and lightweight in character. The majority of apartments are provided with an operable concertina system of aluminium screens or louvres for privacy and sun access control. This layer of golden coloured aluminium screens provides a unique addition to the cityscape, rich in texture and colour, continually dynamic and visibly responsive to the time of the day, sun and temperature conditions.
All apartments have their living rooms and their major open space areas to the west. There are no apartments that are oriented to the south. While some of the units are single orientation, the double core arrangement and the building form has been designed to maximise the number of through and corner apartments.
Rooms are arranged to encourage natural cross ventilation and the penetration of natural light. All kitchens have direct access to natural light and ventilation.
The building meets and exceeds BASIX requirements and incorporates solar hot water heating, photovoltaic cells and individualised advanced and efficient air-conditioning systems.