A brick inlay façade created using Midnight Blue brick tiles from Robertson Facade Systems has helped deliver spectacular design outcomes for the new Bohem apartments in Adelaide.

Located on the corner of Wright and Morphett streets, the Bohem apartment building designed by Enzo Caroscio Architecture and built by Maxcon, is a striking addition to the Adelaide skyline. Set over 23 levels, the residential development houses 220 one, two and three bedroom apartments, with every apartment having both natural light and great views over either the city or Whitlam Square Park. On level 6, a sky garden features an abundance of green plantings, stunning city views, an outdoor kitchen with timber tables and seating, viewing ledges, a gym and lap pool.

Enzo Caroscio of Enzo Caroscio Architecture says, “If you’ve got light and outlook, and a nice lobby and amenity, it’s a great place to live for people who don’t spend much time at home and want the convenience of the city.”

What stands out on the corner site development is the magnificent articulated façade dominating Bohem’s spectacular design. Caroscio wanted to use natural materials to design a building that fitted in with the surrounding material concept and featured a distinct play on scale.

“Bohem is a tall building for the area. So, we wanted to create smaller elements of a building to create a big building, so it was all about the pushing and pulling of form and the brick and concrete surrounds to the apartments to create the smaller scale,” he explained.

The façade also addresses a simple brief from the developer, Starfish Developments – to transition the landscape across the street to the building. The architect worked with Tract Landscape Architecture to introduce planters and a 22-metre vertical hanging garden – the first of its kind in South Australia – to the building’s architecture. By integrating plants into the building, Bohem can essentially ‘grow’ with the landscape.

“The layering of brick, concrete and steel to the façades is complementary to the lower scale surrounding context, and the integration of vertical landscaping links the building to the adjacent park,” says Caroscio.

Precast concrete and brick are the dominant materials used on the façade. A brick inlay façade of Midnight Blue brick tiles was installed for the first five storeys on the south side, creating continuous planter beds. This continues higher up with a similar brick inlay façade on the balcony surrounds up to level 16.

“I love precast, and Adelaide has some of the best precasters in Australia. We spoke to Bianco Precast and used Robertson Facade Systems’ brick inlay, with Midnight Blue brick tiles – and I just love the finish of them. The brick tiles are really earthy and have a warmth to them that fits in with the concrete and with the surrounding brick cottages,” Caroscio said.

Beyond level 16, exposed precast render and fully fire tested aluminium composite panels were used to complete the façade.

Extremely satisfied with the final design outcomes, Caroscio said, “I love the materiality of the building, the bricks and the precast concrete – they define the building as being very different to the usual glass or curved wall residential towers you often find. It just fits in well with the materiality and, hopefully, although the scale is big for now, with the growth of the city we’ve set a new precedent for what apartment living really can be.”

Photography: Peter Fisher