The completion of Essence Apartments represents the cumulation of over a decade of collaborative work between the private and public sectors since the vision for Claremont Oval and surrounds was first established. Essence Apartments embodies that vision and proudly delivers positive outcomes which reflect the aspirations of the Precinct Guidelines. Developed by Blackburne Property Group and designed by Hames Sharley, the design of Essence Apartments focuses on the key principles defined within the ‘Claremont on the Park’ Precinct Design Guidelines. The result is a building that balances its obligation to contribute to the street edge and the broader precinct, with its responsibility to provide a sense of intimacy for those that now call it home.
This development activates, engages and responds to its landmark position within the precinct, responding appropriately to its corner location on Davies and Shenton Roads, and to the public open spaces that surround it including Claremont Football Oval. Essence apartments responds to its key social, environmental and physical contexts in providing an external face that is active and engaging through the varied composition of massing and arrangement of external materials evidenced as you circumnavigate its perimeter and central courtyard. The presentation of four distinct façades on a single plinth provides individual character while maintaining a single holistic identity. The ground floor engages meaningfully with the street edge in its provision of a café, grocery and liquor store to Shenton Road and via the commercial shopfronts offered to Davies Road and Shenton Walk. This is further reinforced by a cascading garden bed, secure bicycle parking and three exquisitely finished, glass-fronted lobbies scattered along Shenton Walk and Davies Road. Pragmatically, this provides diversity and spaces required to deliver varying degrees of activation throughout the day and night. Apartment types include configurations of 1-3 bedrooms with many offering additional study spaces delivering diversity to the prospective purchaser. The arrangement of buildings and pedestrian pathways provide natural light to corridors, visual transparency across the site and carefully orientated pathways ensure cooling breezes are captured. The densely landscaped central courtyard on Level 1 provides a sanctuary from the inherent intensity of apartment living, a device for stabilising the temperature of the ground floor below and a microclimate to cool breezes as they circulate around the residential apartments.
In addition to the key passive design elements controlling sunlight, heat gain and air movement; active systems pursue environmentally sustainable outcomes for all and include rainwater harvesting and storage, heat recovery and photovoltaic power generation. Essence Apartments has created intimate spaces for each of its residents while providing an active and diverse place, encouraging a shared sense of identity for the wider community. Success in delivering this delicate balance is reinforced by the unprecedented popularity of Essence Apartments and the day-to-day feedback from residents who have called their apartment home since Christmas 2019.