The site is on the old highway at the northern entry to Wollongong’s CBD. It is literally at the ‘threshold’ to the town centre making the transition from what has been the car yard strip to our very own ‘Eat Street’. Identified by Wollongong Council as a ‘key site’, the property is bound by Flinders, Keira and Campbell Streets.
The Solution / Outcome
The Council have an ambition for Wollongong to be an iconic city. The Gateway project sits comfortably in its context and will make a significant contribution to this goal. The Gateway project recognises the trend for the city to be a ‘living room’ and the development also provides space for the residents to establish a community. An internal landscaped courtyard the size of two residential blocks creates a range of outdoor spaces for family gatherings and communal activities.
As with all good urban design, the perceived liability of the site needs to be tackled head on. In this case, the irregular shape of the property with a long elevation to the west and narrow neck to the north presented a challenge in achieving a successful passive solar design. A bronze mesh ribbon morphing on each elevation to responds to the particular aspect became a key design element. Used as a balustrade to balconies giving privacy while maintaining filtered views, the ribbons twist along the facade to form horizontal elements shading windows. Vertical shutters in the same bronze material allow residents to control the environment both in terms of solar access and privacy.