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    DKO and Breathe join forces to win design competition for Sydney apartments

    Nathan Johnson

    DKO and Breathe Architecture have been named as the preferred architects for a multi-residential building development at a significant site in Alexandria, Sydney.

    Defence Housing Australia (DHA) own the 5,600sqm triangular property at 18 Huntley Street and have now lodged the joint-DKO and Breathe development application with the City of Sydney. The team’s proposal, ‘Huntley Green’, was chosen ahead of two others from Architectus and NBRS + Partners as part of a design excellence competition and consists of a part three-storey/ part six-storey residential flat building constructed predominantly in recycled brick.

    DKO and Breathe’s concept incorporates 155 apartments, parking for 124 cars, 10 motorcycles and 176 bicycles, and a communal music room, spread throughout a unique curving building that encircles a public communal open space. Over 50 per cent of the roof top level is dedicated to communal open space while Pocket Parks are also spread out on levels 2, 3 and 5 to service a smaller community within the development.

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    The massing, geometries and material palette of the building respond to both the history of the site’s surrounding neighbourhood, as well as its well-documented aspirations for the future. The building combines a robust and industrial material palette of brick, concrete, metal panelling and glass – a nod to the neighbourhood’s brick manufacturing past—with through-site links and community gardens to integrate the building with Alexandria’s new residential communities.

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    The site is bordered by Huntley Street to the North and Sydney Park Road to the South and has a variety of views and neighbourhood interactions that influence the bulk and height of the building. To the north the building is set back and shaped around a communal park to articulate with the adjacent heritage terrace houses and the community. A through-site pedestrian link runs from Huntley Street to Sydney Park Road where the building’s bulk and height is far more concentrated and its views out over Sydney Park. The architects added vertical slots, perforated brick breezeways and a kink in the building to break up the visual bulk of the Sydney Park Road façade.

    As the name suggest, integral to the Huntley Green development is its landscaping and urban design principles and the architects called on landscape architects Oculus to aid with this element.  Huntley Green will have communal courtyards on levels 2, 3 and 5, a roof terrace and a public park on Huntley Street. The two emphatically public through-site links have also been designed with Oculus landscape architecture.

    The development will consider best sustainable practice and an Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Design Report from Cundall says the following energy efficiency and low carbon initiatives will be implemented:

    • Target 50% energy reduction in BASIX/GHG emissions reduction score
    • Passive supply air with carbon monoxide monitoring system and variable speed fan mechanical exhaust system for carpark and lower ground floor garage
    • Solar hot water domestic hot water system with gas booster system
    • High performance insulated glass units are proposed for all apartment units
    • Special acoustic glazing units are proposed for all units facing the Sydney Park Road
    • Air cooled split system air-conditioning or VRV will be provided to all apartments
    • Bathrooms, laundries and kitchens are separately exhausted to the façade
    • Ducted fresh air intake systems are proposed for the low level (Level 1 only) south-facing apartments facing Sydney Park Road where significant traffic noise and pollution occurs at peak hours
    • All lift lobbies are naturally ventilated
    • Lighting design of all residential apartments’ area shall improve on Section J of the Building Code of Australia
    • Energy efficient appliances and sanitary fittings for all common facilities and apartment units
    • Energy consumption to be metered separately for all apartment units and common area
    • Lifts to be machine room less and have LED lighting
    • Long life lamps and high efficiency fittings (T5 fluorescent and LED)
    • High efficiency external lighting such as LED
    • Master lighting and air-conditioning switches for all apartment units
    • Lighting system to be controlled utilising appropriate sensors and efficiency controls
    • Back of house area lighting to be controlled via a combination of local dimming, manual switch and appropriate sensors
    • LED emergency and exit lighting
    • Sub-metering for all apartments and common areas which will be connected to a central reporting and monitoring system
    • 50kW Photovoltaic (PV) system
    • The project is targeting a 7.9 BASIX rating

    The project is estimated to cost $63,709,103 and its DA will be on exhibition with the City of Sydney until 11 January.

    Images: DKO and Breathe Architecture

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