Boldly articulated, Middle Burke Apartments has been designed to mimic elements from its environment whilst maintaining a prominent presence. Across four levels, this multi-residential development features a generous retail area plus fifty spacious two and three bedroom apartments offering sophisticated design with quality finishes. Conveniently located at the corner of Middle and Burke Roads, the corner position justified a larger and more dominant building. Meeting a requirement of the client brief, the building was conceived as a gateway to the local retail precinct.

Bearing in mind council planning requirements, the client’s objective was to maximise use of the 2271sqm site and to obtain a permit without VCAT’s involvement, which was successfully achieved. Aiming to construct at least 3 levels, a total of 4 storeys were achieved by recessing the basement carpark, such that the levels do not detract from the more intimate pedestrian scale of the Burke Road streetscape.

Interpretive of emerging development in the area, the unique full pre-cast façade and strengthening of the walls answered the brief which required a more solid look and weighty feel, along with a mix of finishes including render and steel mesh cladding, concrete (painted finishes), and glazing added variety and interest. Robust vertical and horizontal elements were also applied, providing strong articulation which meant that from the streetscape one could easily visually distinguish the various levels. To soften overlooking vantage points for neighbouring residents, raised garden beds were employed in rooftop terraces to create a natural visual screening and enhance the vista.

Many sustainability initiatives were successfully adopted including solar boosted hot water systems, solar panels, high efficiency ducted reverse cycle air conditioners, high level of building seals and low VOC paints. Modern mechanical and electrical systems were installed to minimise energy consumption. Captured water from rainwater storage tanks is reused in the irrigation systems and commercial toilets with an estimated saving of 100,000L per year. Refuse disposal was also implemented whereby tenants use shared rubbish chutes.