Warne Street Residences

Architecture Residential Australia

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Dominated by high fences to private backyards and roller doors to off-street car parkings, Warne Street streetscape seems a tell-tale of its former years as a service street. Dwellings on either sides of Warne Street span street-to-street with frontages onto Albion Street or Tinning Street. Over time, these largish blocks were halved. Run-of-the-mill townhouses were built in replacement with text-book frontages, composed of hard-edged entry and banal garage door on ground level; dejected street balcony and windows with blinds permanently down on upper level. An opportunity to create street engagement, street activation, and community became an exploitation. Warne Street Residences seek to reverse the damage. Motivated by the client’s social and environmental aspiration to create a responsible development sympathetic to the pattern and scale of the locality, the design unravels as a pair of similar yet non-identical townhouses. Contrasted to the surroundings by an open front garden, a facade of green filigree and the layered layout to create depth of view, the development heedfully embraces the street. Considering its close proximity of site to public transport and CBD, car ownership is redundant to some in the community. This opportunity warrants a rethink of the requirement of car space. Blessed with north south aspect of the site, versatility is built into the definition of car space to double as an off-street car park or a shaded outdoor space with capacity to be transformed into other amenities. This keystone decision unlocks other possibilities. Unlike typical double storey townhouses with endless corridors of mean rooms, the massing of the townhouses is dissected in two halves by a courtyard insertion giving the main rooms dual aspect to savour generous daylight and good cross ventilation. The townhouses are defined by folded gable mesh screen with composed cut-outs on street frontage standing behind the fenceless front garden dotted with drought tolerant strap leaf plants, grasses and gravel surface. The transparent mesh, poised for keen climbing plants, extends the urban and architecture fabric seamlessly from the public into the private domain of the courtyard and living area, adding to the street a splash of colours, textures, and visual connectivity. The main living area is flanked on both ends by lush outdoor spaces, allowing the occupants to warm their souls in the north facing rear yard in winter and cool their heads in the south facing court yard in summer. Warne Street Residences is a well balanced development inspired by the aspiration of kind souls whom wish to carve a worthy legacy within the community and environment.