The five-storey Lumiere apartment building was the largest and highest-density component of the 240-home redevelopment of the former Adelaide City Council works depot in inner-city Halifax Street. The marketplace success of Lumiere confirmed that the increased demand for city living in Adelaide was not ephemeral.
A generational sea-change in lifestyle expectations was under way.
Tectvs had two design objectives for Lumiere. One was to create a marketable contemporary urban apartment building by promoting the potential for community. A feature was a private roof-top swimming pool and entertainment area to provide residents of the 65 apartments with a communal space and a break from the confines of apartment living. The second objective was to create an exemplar building in the application of sustainable design principles. Tectvs designed a solar water heating system where the heated water filled a central storage tank which in turn supplied the individual two/three-bedroom apartments. Green features include naturally illuminated and ventilated ground-floor car parking and internal circulation space, low-energy light fittings, low-toxicity materials, photovoltaic panels to power common-area lighting, gas-boosted solar hot water service and individual energy metering.
The double-sided design of the building provided natural light at both ends of the dwellings and allowed flow-through ventilation, and the longer-rather-than-taller profile provided encouragement for residents to use the internal stairs over the lift. The design also encouraged extensive use of balconies for outdoor use and passive surveillance. Five years after completion Lumiere was still one of the most advanced buildings of its type in Adelaide, designed and built at a time when there were no green building rating systems and sustainable building design was not taken seriously or not considered commercially viable.