The Kent Residences are a group of 21 premium contemporary residences designed by Rothelowman Architects for CDG. Situated on the site of the former State Savings Bank in Hawthorn, The Kent Residences take inspiration from the bank’s mid-century architecture, paying homage to what was once a beautiful red brick building on Burwood Road.

“We wanted to acknowledge what was there previously by reinterpreting the idea of brick in a contemporary manner,” Steven Coverdale, senior associate, Rothelowman comments.

Also critical to the design was achieving a more domestic texture and aesthetic for the ground and podium interfaces, given that the site backs on to a residential area. Specifically, integrating as much texture into those interfaces as possible, creating interest in the design and balancing the glazed textures on the upper levels.

“At the lower portions of the building, we wanted to use as much landscaping and reticulation as possible, and that’s what’s really great about brick, it has that human scaled texture and tactile quality, which we appreciate,” says Coverdale.

Bluestone brick inlay podium

What makes this building a standout is the well-considered design with its combination of textures and materials. For buildability and value management, Rothelowman selected brick inlay from Robertson Facade Systems for the podium construction, using a beautiful combination of Brushed Grey and Flamed Grey stone tiles, supplied by Robertson’s Building Products.

The Kent Residences present a monochromatic aesthetic of framed black steel, glass and concrete, so it was critical for the brick to complement that. “The palette is very ‘Melbourne’ and for us the Bluestone look for the tiles fitted into that perfectly,” Coverdale explains.

It’s not only the material choice, but also the way in which the materials have been used, which sets this building apart. “We like to use brick in an innovative way, which is why we have rotated it in a vertical soldier pattern and laid it in a stack bond, rather than a traditional stretcher bond.”

The Kent Residences

This incredibly well thought out podium design was created using an algorithm to achieve the random effect of the Brushed Grey and Flamed Grey stone tiles without repetition. The results are magnificent.

“The façade design was really well thought through and that’s the great thing about using the brick inlay system – because you can have any design you like and make it up with whatever material you like, which we did,” Coverdale says.

The Flamed Grey and Brushed Grey stone tile brick inlay podium is remarkably eye-catching and the team at Rothelowman couldn’t be happier with the outcome: “The material has provided the project with an outstanding level of finish, elevating the overall design outcome, and has garnered an overwhelmingly positive response,” Coverdale concludes.

Photographer: Dylan Thomas