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BDAV 2016 Building Design Awards

Artisan Apartments

Winner Building Design Of The Year 2016

Designer: EME Design Pty Ltd
Builder: DCS Built
Photographer: Luke Middleton, Peter Clarke
Location: Heidelberg, VIC

The Artisan Apartments is an exemplar multi-residential project. The quality of site response, apartment design and sustainability are outstanding.

An unusual orientation of 28o off north meant a clever response was required to optimise passive solar design for all proposed apartments. Windows are located to make the most of the lovely views of neighbouring parkland and take advantage of the summer shading and wind protection the landscaping provides. Angling the footprint walls allows pockets of vegetation on the site to further complement the established landscaping on adjacent properties. Nestled amongst established trees, the new development has a timeless presence that is responsive to the area and the immediate neighbours.

Many aspects of environmental sustainability have been considered including excellent solar access to balconies and living areas in conjunction with internal thermal mass, natural daylighting that penetrates deep within the building, renewable Australian timbers, efficient lighting selection to apartments, sensor activated LED and fluorescent lighting to all public spaces, well insulated building fabric, efficient water saving plumbing fixtures and a 20,000 litre rainwater collection tank. Glazing has been carefully framed and shaded to achieve optimal thermal performance. Sustainability objectives are met with no compromise to the beauty and functionality of the apartments. All thirteen apartments have spacious living spaces and bedrooms with abundant natural light. Public spaces are naturally ventilated undercrofts providing genuine cross ventilation to all apartments. With a STEPS rating of 339.9 and an average NatHERS rating of 8.6 Stars this project is a standout.

The Artisan Apartments provide a diversity of dwelling type and size with liveability principles embedded. Universal design principles are evident. A continuous accessible path of travel throughout the building – with consideration for adaptability of each apartment – creates future proofing. Changing requirements of occupants due to aging or disability can be realistically met due to considerable pre-planning undertaken by the building designers. The designers have created apartments with adequate space, thoughtful plan layouts, adequate door widths, threshold-free floor transitions and large bathrooms complete with roll-in shower enclosures to enable cost-efficient modification for enhanced accessibility.

This multi‐residential exemplar seriously addresses the growing demand for apartments with the amenity of a house. This is a unique and stunningly sculptural home for local empty nesters and young professionals who would otherwise be driven to Melbourne’s fringe. Great attention has been paid to the interstitial spaces. Public circulation spaces are designed to emulate small streets encouraging occupants to linger and interact. Individual entries offer an open air space that provides a nuanced transition from fully public to fully private spaces. Sheltered indoor/outdoor pedestrian links and terraces provide comfortable spaces that encourage neighbourly interaction, making this a friendly and welcoming place to live.