Precedence - Simplicity & Repetition
Assigned building: Ham Common Apartments by James Stirling and James Gowan
Location: Ham Common, United Kingdom Year: 1958
Given its design as mass public housing, what is immediately apparent at the core of this investigation was to note the importance of repetition. An extremely simple layout for an individual apartment generated a repetitive unit that was simply reflected along the entire length of the project. This study focused on three main elements:
- Privacy & Views
From the diagrams and drawings, it is immediately apparent that repetition on the ground and first floors have generated a negative impact for views and privacy. Apartments located directly on the ground floor have resulted in severe overlooking, something which must be avoided in the design of the North Bondi project. Furthermore, the reflected plans, though efficient for corridors and stairways, results in slight overlooking between apartments.
Air ventilation on the other hand is an area which must be taken from Ham Common and utilized. Cross ventilation has been achieved in all apartments of this project, improving thermal comfort.
Context and Critique
Brighton Boulevard is located in the heart of North Bondi, well connected, affluent and separate from the busy heart of Sydney CBD. This neighbourhood offers up what most would consider the idyllic Australian beach-side life. Set amidst
a relaxed environment, the lifestyle suggests one which is at once connected to CBD yet also an escape from it.
Its architectural context is just as diverse, providing a crossroads of designs in all the major influential apartment typologies and styles over the last century. The challenge therefore is to interpret its design context and offer up
a respectful yet innovative design solution. The unique shape of the site means that most of the site is naturally enclosed and can offer a unique internalised community/open space. Site provides to opportunity to strike a fine balance between capitalising the views to Bondi Beach while maintaining a degree of privacy and not affecting neighbours.
The view to the beach however is at once both a blessing and a curse. With the site’s unobscured prime views facing south and west, the challenge will be to enhance these sights without jeopardising apartment thermal and lighting comfort. Similarly, the design of a music restaurant venue in a predominantly residential street will provide an interesting challenge for sound insulation.
Personally I have become fascinated by the rich fabric of typologies on offer along Brighton Boulevard and its surroundings. Each building has its own unique history and in the case of recent buildings, its own unique interpretation of the past and the context. In particular, I am very much interested in the great variety of detailing and texture created through different techniques and materials. This interplay of detail and form is for me an exciting challenge which I feel can be exploited to create a unique solution to the brief.