A Suburban Landmark in Mount Lawley
29 March 2019
A Quintessential Apartment Project in the Heart of Perth
As one of Perth’s most iconic neighbourhoods, Mount Lawley provided ample inspiration for a multi-use development created by award-winning M/Construction, part of M/Group. The three-storey M/25 by Match, located on the main road (Walcott Street), comprises 30 apartments plus six commercial units on the ground floor.
According to director Michael Read, M/25 drew its design vision from the suburb’s Federation-style red brick and terracotta homes. It incorporates natural light and cross ventilation into the apartments via the landscaped, central courtyard. The apartments’ décor includes black and white surfaces with elegant fixtures, creating a contemporary design with the end-user in mind.
As a company aligned to M/Group’s own industry-leading values, Cameron Chisholm Nicol was engaged to design M/25 – and they remained true to Mount Lawley’s heritage. The façade uses contrasting shapes, materials and colours to link the lively urbanism of Walcott Street, and create a strong corner presence that is set to become “a local landmark, offering architecturally-designed living in a convenient and desirable location”.
The main challenges faced by M/Construction centred on site constraints and logistics. “There was very limited lay-down area for materials” notes Michael Read, “and we only had one-side access during the duration of the build. This meant that all deliveries of materials had to be thought out and scheduled correctly. These would coincide with the requirement to have regular mobile cranes onsite and traffic management to coordinate traffic flow.”
“The design also changed from masonry brickwork to pre-cast panels for the neighbouring boundary wall – to eliminate potential issues impacting the next door property – so construction methodology had to be adjusted to ensure there was a good continuity of work and to maintain program deadlines.”
This eliminated potential safety issues associated with masonry construction, and also removed the requirement for complicated scaffolding in this area.
Highlighted Project Aspects and Cutting-Edge Features
Danpalon was used as the weather-proof backing material behind the perforated artistic screen at the building’s main entrance, “which provides a unique look to the building from the inside during the day, and the outside during the night”.
Black finish aluminium SHS sections were installed throughout many of the external openings (windows and balconies) to create a picture-frame effect on the building’s façade; and a smooth set plaster finish was applied to the external ground floor walls to create a point of difference from the other levels. As part of City of Vincent’s requirements, an art contribution was designed to include a wall mural by renowned Australian artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers. The brickwork walls also provided added appeal in comparison to the stud frame plasterboard walls.
Elsewhere, an Acratex texture coat was applied to the external surfaces of the building, and an Acrashield coating was applied over the Acratex texture coat to ensure long-lasting added protection. This was substituted for skim coat in areas that M/Construction believed would have had issues with weather damaging the skim coat.
M/Group is highly respected for its solid commitment to sustainability, and the M/25 project is emphatically at the forefront of industry standards in this respect.
“We strived for minimum waste by choosing specific products and ensuring all were accounted for during the build,” notes Read. “We used products that will ensure longevity for the building and reduce maintenance/replacement of materials.
“Upgrading the water-proof coating to the level one landscaped courtyard area ensured that we would not have to worry about potential leaks and added maintenance to the car park area below, now and into the future.” All appliances installed have a high WELS and Energy star rating.
One of the key successes achieved during construction was an ability to assist the client with design changes to upgrade areas of the building that M/Construction believed needed attention.
“Re-designing the lobby area and incorporating a decorative timber panel ceiling not only improved the overall look of the lobby but also elevated the appeal for the end-users.
“Taking on the mechanical ventilation as D&C, and simplifying it, reduced costs and eliminated the requirement for additional maintenance works during the life cycle of the building. In addition, we re-designed the courtyard landscaping area to be less busy and more aesthetically appealing.”
With Cameron Chisholm Nicol also highly regarded as an award-winning architectural practice that aims to place people at the centre of its design philosophy, the completed M/25 project was ultimately a perfect fit for its portfolio… “Unique residential projects that demonstrate refined aesthetics underpinned by efficient space planning and a rigorous attention to detail. The result is liveable, functional apartments that respond to our unique climate and lifestyle.”
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