Those familiar with Australia’s town of Cottlesloe may well have found themselves stop to gawk at the luxurious Overton Terraces, a collection of 11 extraordinary apartments designed by Banham Architects.
Neighboring the Historic Civic Centre gardens, the apartments overlook breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and Rottnest Island. The site, positioned on a broad slope, posed its own challenges. However, it did not prevent Banham Architects from achieving their goal – a complex of elegant, timeless buildings which embrace their exclusive location and seamlessly connect indoor with the outside while making the most of the spectacular views.
Which part of a new project excites you the most?
The challenge of creating an innovative solution in response to the brief. We like to draw inspiration from the client’s aspirations and the opportunities presented by the site.
What are the emerging trends in residential architecture that will shape our way of living in the next ten years?
A greater diversity of housing types as the trend continues towards greater density.
The requirement for innovative & flexible housing types is increasing to accommodate more dwellings within our urban fabric. Advances in technology will continue to change the way that we live and the way we build.
Prefabricated building systems are becoming the norm.
Can you tell us a bit about the story of this project and its owners?
This project is 11 luxury apartments of varying sizes, ranging from a one bed 74m2 studio apartment to the 3 bed, 4 bath, 2 study, 2 Lounge 333 m2 Penthouse. No two apartments are the same. The site is located in coastal suburb of Cottesloe with expansive views of the Indian Ocean and Rottnest Island.
There were a host of stringent planning constraints regarding height, including that no part of the building was more than 2 stories above the street level. This led to the solution of terracing the apartments down the site. There were also the views from the Historic Civic Centre gardens that had to be protected.
What did your clients ask for in their brief and how important was their contribution, if there was any?
This project was quite unique in that the Land Owner approached the Developer to jointly develop the property.
The owners wanted 2 apartments for themselves; the Penthouse & a studio unit. The Developer sought to create an exclusive project befitting of its site and location. They left it to our creativity to develop a solution that best suited this site.
What was your approach for the project?
The focus of this project was certainly the views and how to maximise this aspect from as many apartments as possible.
The direction we took for the style of the design was minimalistic and modern to create a timeless building. Materials should be natural and/or contextual, and as few as possible. We believe this emphasises the quality of the spaces / views and creates a building that is timeless.
Which is your favourite/most important feature of this house and why?
Terracing the residences over one another enabled us to comply with the stringent height restrictions and created the large terraces with views of the ocean.
The large floating pergolas provide protection and are a striking juxtaposition to the white boxes and curved random stone walls.
We have used a one way vision / solar film on the large windows to bedrooms facing the street. This provides privacy to these rooms without impeding upon the view. It also provides protection from the glaring setting summer sun. This is an innovation that I’ve not seen used anywhere else.
Could you shed some light on inspiration drawn from the coastal view on designing the house?
Extensive floor to ceiling glazing maximise the views while expansive cantilevered pergolas provide solar protection to the terraces and glazing, without impeding the view.
Also, by incorporating roof planters, we were able to screen all the neighbouring roofs from the views to the penthouse apartments.
Last but not least, can you tell us a bit about the collaboration with Adrian Zorzi?
To accomplish a project of this complexity to an exemplary standard requires a builder of exceptional skill and dedication. Adrian Zorzi and his team proved that they were up to this challenge.
Photos via Banham Architects