Atop a reawakened lane network in Surry Hills, and echoing the past of a once gritty, urban neighbourhood, Short Lane is a mixed-use development which retains and encourages the diversity of the local neighbourhood – introducing new botanical spaces, walkable laneways and venues for local participation.
Conceived as an urban garden, the 22-apartment development above street level retail creates a new verdant apartment typology. The compact one- and two-bedroom dwellings are scaled for city living and connect people to nature in a dense, inner-urban setting that continues street’s greenery.
Height, scale, materiality and architectural expression purposefully complement the adjoining heritage of the site, and graffiti artwork on the terrace has been restored by the original artist to form part of the laneway entry.
Retail spaces are articulated as a series of metal clad framed and operable window bays within a larger framed form. This play with scale allows the double height retail spaces to mediate with the finer grain of the associated terraces and smaller scale commercial buildings at street level.
The residential levels are expressed as a series of horizontal concrete terraces which stagger across the elevation. Spilling Cilandra and Periwinkle from their edges, the cantilevered balconies form a natural screen between apartments.
Inside, understated interiors create a sophisticated urban retreat. Exposed concrete ceilings are balanced by the warm oak floors and operable screens that give the impression of levitating concrete slabs. Each living area has full height sliding glass doors leading to a lush outdoor sanctuary framed by a protected edge.
Short Lane integrates nature within a harsh urban environment, and is an exemplar for low scale, mixed use living.