John Street, Box Hill
Utilising the opportunities of a car park edge
Category | Small Residential Development | Project John Street, Box Hill | Architect Hayball
ContextThis development, adjacent to a public car park in central Box Hill, accommodates 66 one bedroom student apartments on a long, narrow site. As a designated Central Activities Area, the precinct is the subject of significant change and intensification.
ChallengeThis project needed to accommodate a large number of units in a commercially viable manner. It also had to manage potentially difficult relationships with neighbours – to the south existing residential units with overlooking windows and to the north a public car park.
ResponseThe design chose to utilise the car park as its principal outlook, which works well due to its sunny orientation and an existing row of mature eucalypts acting as a filter. By boldly addressing the car park, the apartments not only provide passive surveillance, but also lift the tone of this utilitarian space, imbuing it with civic qualities more typical of a public square. In contrast the southern façade is more closed and secondary, respecting the privacy of its residential neighbours. Panelling has been used to maximise construction efficiency and provide a good design result.
LessonsThrough its strong architectural composition and careful detailing, the building brings a high quality image to a commercially driven project and succeeds in uplifting the budding urban character of the precinct and its car park.