Melrose Arch A302 Residential is located on Oak Lane within the Melrose Arch Development. This was the first phase of residential development to take place within the mixed use precinct. The project was commissioned through a limited competition process. The building is an infill building completing the perimeter envelope of a Melrose Urban Block with an east west orientation consisting of 17 apartments, ranging in size from 1 bedroom (+/- 60m2) to 3 bedroom (+/-120m2) units.
The key concepts in the project were to ‘re-conceptualise’ an apartment building within this context as an urban street based model that also opened up to create meaningful external spaces within the units whilst respecting and responding to a difficult climatic orientation.The building consists of four storeys; a ground level duplex with a rooftop duplex on the 2nd and 3rd floors with access to roof terraces above.Ground Floor duplex units have a ‘front door’ to Oak Lane and are also individually accessible directly from the basement. A home office or guest suite is also made possible in these units following the ‘live – work – play ethos’.
Rooftop duplexes take advantage of distant views by inverting the traditional stacking ’sandwich’ of living below and sleeping above, by placing the living areas on the topmost level with access onto outdoor roof terraces. These units are accessed from the 3rd floor level from a circulation core. The lifts and a staircase are located in a central entrance foyer area which is sliced through the building allowing transparency through to the inner courtyard. Above the entrance foyer is the so called ‘Tokyo Unit’ a duplex unit, initially conceptualized as a 1 room per floor – live/work/sleep triple storey unit entered on the middle level.
The façade on Oak Lane is in keeping with an infill building that sits between two apartment buildings that are exploitative of their corner conditions. The facebrick façade is a simple composition of apertures that are screened from the western sun by louvred screens. Entrances to units are denoted through a raised indented alcove. The inner courtyard façade responds to a number of different requirements such as open terraces, indented verandahs and projecting out shuttered verandah boxes and is thus more varied in its surface modulation. Privacy within the units and within the outdoor terrace and balcony areas was an important determinant in the configuration of this façade.