Featuring dark masonry walls and an undulating black metal screen across the street facing façade, Jervois Apartments by Monk Mackenzie, Artifact Property and Amelia Holmes is a bold architectural expression that stands in proud contrast to the weatherboard homes of the Herne Bay area. Partially shielded by mature plane trees lining the street and thoughtfully conceived to speak back to its context, this building is a considerate addition to the local vernacular.

Across five storeys, there is a mix of apartments and one penthouse suite. Each apartment runs the length of the building from north to south, punctuated by what architects Hamish Monk and Dean Mackenzie describe as “pocket gardens”, which bring natural light and connection to nature deep into the plan. “There’s a lot of program on a very small site,” Hamish says. “Architecturally, the challenge was to not display all that complexity but to make it look relatively distilled and simple as a gesture.” The prominent, south facing screen was crucial in achieving a simplified form and creating an effortless dialogue with the streetscape. As Dean says, “if you articulate all of the individual rooms then it becomes quite fussy and cluttered as an architectural expression.” He adds, “the screen gives us another layer – a filter – to quieten down the building.”

Sophie Wylie of Artifact Property oversaw the planning of the interiors alongside the project’s interior designer, Amelia Holmes. With an architectural background and a deep understanding of the project’s intent, Sophie was uniquely placed to conceive these spaces. As Artifact Property’s Co Founder Liam Joyce says, “Sophie, being a designer herself, has been able to work with the purchasers the whole way through, and they’ve been able to customise the spaces to suit their own needs.” He adds, “I think that provides a real differentiation to other large-scale projects, which are often homogenous to a certain extent and don’t afford that close interaction between designer, developer and purchaser.”

The bedrooms are located at the southern end of the building, whilst the shared spaces sit at the northern end. As Hamish says, “one of the challenges of having bedrooms to the street is the interface between the public domain and the need for a private space.” Adding, “the screen helps us to deal with that as there are varying degrees of transparency and opacity depending on where you view it from.” The sinuous screen expands and contracts, creating volume between the internal spaces and the building’s façade. This design references traditional bay windows, which typically punctuate flat elevations and create additional pockets of space. “It’s not a full balcony as we have on the northern side, but it’s a space you can stand in when you open the doors and look up and down the street.” Dean says. “It creates some depth to the elevation, which becomes a point of interest from the interior but also offers something quite sculptural and unique to the street.”

from thelocalproject



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