The subject site fronts a main street to the south, a railway corridor to the east and the RMIT University car park to the north, forming three dissimilar and challenging interfaces. Although the car park is a private space it is utilized as a public thoroughfare from the Jewell train station opposite and from Dawson Street to the North. As a result, these site conditions provided for a building that is highly visible without any obstructions.
The Jewell project draws on classical design principles which we consider to be not only relevant to contemporary architecture, but are design strategies essential for good design outcomes. The rhythmic box geometries are referential variations of the same architectural language resulting in a sculptured building that evokes a strong sense of movement. As the building is experienced from the various vantage points, the building form takes on different readings. This movement is reinforced by the reflective nature of the metallic cladding that changes the colour and textural qualities of the building with the varying light and shadow of the day.
We incorporated landscaped streets and laneways within the subject site to provide spatial separation between dwellings and to enable every habitable space to receive natural light and ventilation. In addition, these separations allow the spaces to be naturally cross ventilated thereby minimizing the need for air-conditioning.
The asymmetrical forms that wrap around the edges of the building form a continuous architectural expression. The southern elevation has been specifically designed with a constructed view of the building, typical of the classical order, when viewed from the street. Vertical strip windows capture the opposing perspective providing a visual connection and a conclusion to the journey for occupants that have entered the building from Watson Street. The accented double height entry void that interrupts the rhythmic articulation of the composition emphasizes and clearly announces the entry into the building as seen from the Street.
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