Australian Institute of Architects - Architecture Award Residential - Multiple housing (2013)
New city residential developments often take their design references from their neighbours or the streetscape. The strict grid that defines Adelaide and the uniformity of its low-rise forms beyond the city centre shape most design responses. Precious exceptions occur when the landscape is a collaborator not a constraint. South Terrace gave Tectvs the design clues for a distinctive apartment building.
As the southern boundary of the original Adelaide city plan, South Terrace is a historic presence defined by its large old street trees and enduring and exclusive views of the southern parklands. Trees, foliage, the seasons and light provide a continuum of change and movement for South Terrace dwellings and dwellers. Tectvs designed six-storey Alta as an embroidered reflection of its setting on the edge of a natural landscape.
Interiors are spacious, bright and feature piercing views of the Southern Parklands framed to collaborate with the individual dwellings. The structure is contained in a band of natural finish copper punctured by irregular openings of white translucent glass, simulating the interplay between light and air and leaves. A sculptural laser-cut metal screen provides a similar texture at ground level and the parklands presence is capped with a roof garden.
Alta apartments provide a refined luxury that contributes to the city from both street-level and balcony level.