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Delicate density the way forward

As Perth’s population sprawls 120km along the coastline, the creation of greater housing choice has become a priority for the State Government.

WA’s housing currently comprises of 74 per cent standalone homes, 14 per cent townhouses and just seven per cent apartments, however, the latter does not have to encompass solely high-rise developments, according to the WA Apartment Advocacy.

WAAA Director Samantha Reece said the advocacy body supported the concept of “delicate density,” which was apartment living injected into key pockets of established streets and suburbs.

“These are seamless designs that blend into the street-front yet maximise the space to accommodate 10-20 families where normally one would reside,” she said.

Ms Reece said last night’s WAAA WINconnect Apartment Awards for Excellence, with a total 47 entries across 17 categories, showcased many inspirational developments.

These included Social on Henry, which was designed by Matthews & Scavalli Architects and developed by Australian Development Capital to replace the defunct RSL Club in Henry Street, Fremantle.

The 22-apartment building on a 900sqm site not only created an oasis in the port city’s centre but provided cosy homes with a high standard of finish.

“It is nestled in its heritage setting and from the street, continues to reflect its original purpose,” Ms Reece said.

“The fact that 22 apartments are snuggled behind the facade was a complete surprise and delight.”

Managed by Bluerock Projects, the Charleston in West Perth was formerly an art deco home that had fallen into disrepair.

“Through clever renovations, this traditional two-storey development now features 10 luxurious one-bedroom apartments embodying the original design in an aesthetically pleasing way,” Ms Reece said.

The Department of Communities’ 15 Cummins St project in Willagee took a 3000sqm site with three homes and created 20 apartments complemented by mature tree planting, creating a bush oasis complete with striking greenery through the heart of the project.

“The double-storey development has 10 apartments at both the front and rear of the block, with an industrial internal finish and highly affordable prices,” Ms Reece said.

Also in the awards spotlight, MJA Studio and Fabric Property Group’s development at 95 Evans Street, Shenton Park is now home to 10 families on a 647sqm block

“It is a delight both externally and internally,” Ms Reece said.

“The simplicity in its design plus the fetching external mural provides a statement that has attracted admiration from the wider community and rightly so.”

Ms Reece said these entries, Cottesloe development Kilmarnock apartments designed by Kerry Hill Architects and Bindaring Parade designed by Colliere Architecture demonstrated best practice and also showed apartments could be sensitively added to existing neighbourhoods.

“People’s perception is that apartments are tall buildings and while there is a place for this type of development, WAAA is focused on showcasing the more boutique projects that can add to a local community’s vibrancy and represent what we term ‘delicate density,’” she said.

“Housing choice within the apartment sector is vital as not everyone wishes to live in a large development but rather in a home that feels cosy and intimate.

“These projects featured in the WAAA WINconnect Apartment Awards for Excellence demonstrate best design practice that we wish to advocate for as WA moves forward.”

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