Maxwell Place is set in aparkside location, framed by a natural stone cliff at the north-eastern end of Mirvac’s re-development of Harold Park. Inspired by its setting, the building extends from this backdrop like a peninsula, its forms terraced and angular.
Extending this concept, entries and slots within the façade become “canyons”; cooler spaces for promoting natural ventilation which also lend the building the proportions, at a grander scale, of the terrace houses of nearby Glebe.
This architecture of sheer vertical walls and horizontal slabs inspired by Sydney’s geology also frames views, controls insolation and manages privacy. It unites the two sides of the building: thelarger residences overlooking the park and theone bedroom homes looking to the sun.
The floor plans are a direct response to the deep and long building envelope set by the site masterplan. A set back bedroom, with light, air and views provided by generous slots, allows additional apartments to be achieved on each level than through standard planning.
The building is predominantly crisp white, with high quality materials. The façade utilises painted face brick, sandstone cladding and custom designed, powdercoated balustrades. Joints in the brick are horizontally struck, combining with flush perpends to strata the building, lending it depth andtexture. Black window frames and grey glass are recessive to further emphasise the dynamic forms of the exterior.
Expansive picture windows, mullion free, draw views of the park into the apartments, their sill heights managing privacy. Aneeta windows are inserted within sliding door frames to allow interiors to be ventilated whilst maintaining security and outlook. North-facing clerestorey windows run the length of the raised ceilings in each top floor apartment, bringing additional winter sun inside and adding volume.
With Council’s maximum height for the site set below the clifftop, SDS carefully established each floor level to achieve an additional storey of apartments within the allowable building envelope without impacting on the surrounding context. As a result, a significant “sky lobby” was created, making a connection to the street on the top floor. Natural overhead light washes through its length above the artwork commissioned for the space. In contrasting black, a second, ground level lobby leads out to the 3.8-hectare park at the heart of the site.
Internal circulation is always naturally lit, with views to the park and the cliff framed by wider, taller lobby areas.
Landscaping is key. As the topmost slab of the building sits virtually flush with the adjacent Maxwell Road to become a fifth façade, it is carefully patterned with sedum planting, pebble ballast and solar panels. A green wall is installed like a flag on the building, signalling the way into the park. To the west, the private courtyards at the base of the building appear to extend into the new public green space on the parkside. To the east they affront the soaring sandstone cliff, which serves as a spectacular courtyard wall.
Material Used :
1. Taubmans – External Paint - White Matt Finish
2. Gosford Quarry – External Walls – Split Finish Irregular Blocks Quarry Run Range
3. Dulux–Internal Walls – Natural White
4. Better Tiles – Pavers – Mirvac White Granite
5. Better Tiles – Internal Tiles – Glazed Porcelain Rectified Tiles
6. Viridan – Glazing and Balustrades – Vfloat Grey Glass