115-119 Gilbert Street, Adelaide
Say a new hello to an old precinct
Australian Institute of Architects, Newell Platten Award (Residential Architecture, Multiple Housing), 2009
At the commencement of this project, changes and restrictions to the approval process for inner-city residential developments, and increased levels of compliance associated with meeting the Building Code of Australia’s accessibility and environmental requirements highlighted there were going to be few challenges associated to this project. The Developer tasked Tectvs to meet all challenges, and further, re-invent the model for old ‘walk-up flats’ for city apartment developments.
During the initial design process, Tectvs identified an opportunity, a gap between the increasingly marginalised townhouse development model and the over-supplied high-rise apartment building model. Our design solution was to refresh the time-honoured and straightforward model for medium-to-high-density housing that was somehow lost in the late 20th-century, as Developers and Architects dashed to design and build expensive, glitzy, and highly serviced apartment complexes. The architecture for 115 – 119 Gilbert Street, would be simple, innovative, and sustainable, and feature all the required mod cons of the time; intercom and a sleek kitchen, undercover car parking, and secure bike parking. However, the design would be traditional, with passive building design; north facing, sun shading, robust building fabric, flow-through ventilation, natural light, low-energy fittings, rainwater tanks, gas hot water, and low toxicity materials.
While we acknowledge, Gilbert Street Apartment is still fundamentally a ‘walk-up,’ where it differed from its glitzy counterparts was, no gimmicks and very few gadgets; instead, Tectvs created a simple and affordable amenity.