Park Road apartments are located a stone’s throw from the Hampden Rd cafe strip, the University of Western Australia and QE11. The project started life as a 7 unit R80 grouped dwelling, but was re-planned at the introduction of the Multi-Residential when it morphed into a 12 apartment project, arranged over three levels and a basement. The project is comprised of 4 ground floor units, with 8 two storey loft style apartments over. The design challenge was to maximise the plot ratio of 1.0, while meeting the required setbacks, solving the overlooking issues and meeting all code requirements. The project seeks to provide density close to public transport, education and health facilities The site is long and thin, 880m2 with a frontage of only 15m. North is to the street. At the rear, a 3m ROW provides service and parking access via a steep ramp down the basement.
Access to all apartments are via a landscaped link that runs full length of the eastern side, either to the ground floor units, or to the three stairs that access the upper apartments. The two bedroom apartments located on the ground floor are constructed in typical brick and render construction. These apartments have a generous sun-filled courtyards which provide an outlook from the Kitchen/Living/Dining and Master bedroom. The two storey loft apartments have been designed upside down, with the first floor entry level containing the bedroom and bathroom, and the living/kitchen/dining area and roof top courtyard on the uppermost level. This is the significant move of the project, to create generous roof top courtyards rather than balconies, fully enclosed to overcome overlooking provisions, and large enough to feel like a fully
usable external space. From this vantage, one becomes aware of the dense tree canopy that extends though that part of Crawley.
In terms of form and architectural expression, the upper levels have been constructed from a charcoal shadow clad ply that sits over a rendered ground floor base. Balustrades and screen are in a slatted jarrah that are cut out from the major form, to produce a sinuous and angular elevation. The complex roof form alludes to the predominantly pitched roofs of the district, and reduces the overall scale of what is essentially a bulky building.
After extensive cost planning, an innovative construction system for the upper levels was adopted, with Park Rd being the first substantially timber framed apartment
block on Perth. This required extensive engineering input from Structural Engineers Wood and Grieve, who carefully calculated sacrificial charring rates for timber to ensure structural stability in fire mode. Adopting a timber framed upper level allowed us to achieve high insulation values, and significantly reduced site waste.
Park Rd was the first of our projects to really grapple with the issues of tight urban sites under the provisions of the Multi-Residential Codes, and lessons learnt have informed all our future projects.