The Catalina Apartment Project is located in St Ives and engages with the conflicting site conditions associated with a southern frontage to a busy arterial road and a northern frontage to a quiet suburban cul-de-sac. The 5-storey project sits on a 2912m2 site and originally comprised 33 residential units and a communal pool over a three-level basement carpark.
The Project’s plan addresses the opposing street conditions as two buildings in an L-configuration. The southeastern façade protects the rest of the Project from the noisy arterial road with a buffer of enclosed balconies, allowing living areas to open out to the sunny north over the communal landscaped area, pool and quiet cul-de-sac. Each of the 33 apartments has dual orientation, access to cross-ventilation and direct sunlight to its living and private external areas. No more than 3 apartments on each floor are accessed via the same lobby.
The southern building is divided into three components by two common lobbies that define a larger, rendered masonry element flanked by two smaller face brickwork elements. The enclosed balconies have a rendered expression with face-glazing used to define the façade. The northern building, also articulated by the common lobby and lift core, has a face brickwork character. The top level of each building is more lightweight under the project planes of the steel roofs with solar collectors. Soaring, rendered concrete frames define the northeastern elevations of the two buildings and robustly anchor the project firmly to its street condition. The uppermost terraces, under the large scale architectural frames, have expansive views to the northeast and north. The balcony character along the southern elevations is more enclosed in response to the need for privacy to apartment bedrooms and along the north the character oscillates between solid concrete and open steel elements to varying degrees of privacy and sun penetration.