Apartments were once considered more an object to buy and sell, an investment property, rather than a house. But in recent years, this has shifted slightly and architects – and residents – are realising the opportunities to inject personality and individuality in multi-residential spaces.
BKK Architects wanted to create an apartment block that epitomised this emerging mentality. Cirqua Apartments is designed to be long lasting, respond to its site and community and invite tenants in as a home, rather than a short-term place to set down their belongings.
BKK Architects designed each apartment to have a distinctive personality, and encourage a stronger relationship with the tenant as something that is very much their own. The Cirqua Apartments are incredibly diverse in size and layout, with 38 out of the total 42 featuring a distinct internal plan and character.
Cirqua Apartments sit impressively, but gently in their Ivanhoe surroundings. BKK Architects carried out extensive research into the architectural vernacular of the site’s location. The material palette and design takes cues from the surrounding historical housing, allowing for the earthy brown masonry to communicate with the wider streetscape, despite the structure’s inherently contemporary form.
Ivanhoe’s ‘garden city’ essence was picked up by BKK and translated into the prominent exterior landscaping, which has become an equally integral component in Cirqua Apartments as the building itself. Often the lack of a private backyard is missed in apartment living, but BKK have relieved this, ensuring that the bedroom and living room in each apartment has ample access to natural sunlight and ventilation. With glazing used throughout to increase the impression of the exterior gardens within.
Cirqua Apartments is spread over two steep sloping blocks. This slope allows for the lower ground, entry and parking to be concealed from the street, minimising the total impression of the structure and divert the focus instead onto the striking window. The windows are a salient feature of the structure, with voluptuous fish-eye glazing looking out over the street. The structure emerges in an odd asymmetrical form, which giver the overall appearance a more organic and less intimidating impression from the outside.
Cirqua Apartments is eye-catching, but in a soft and alluring way. Although the exterior façade gains a strong contemporary aesthetic from its curved and sporadic shape, BKK Architects’ concern for local and historical context allows the structure to interact with its surroundings. The apartment block is an elegant expression of a quirky design, marrying appropriate materials and an intriguing form to suit and inspire the divergent personalities living within.