Sydney eastern suburbs architects – Designing liveable spaces

Remodeling and Home Design

Mascot contemporary apartments reflect their industrial past

6-9 John Street, Mascot – residential apartment building tower – application approved

A development application has been approved by Botany Council for 6-9 John Street, Mascot, a residential apartment building tower, containing 39 units over 10 residential levels and a basement car park over 3 levels.

Brief Site and Project Description

– The fully consolidated site consists of No’s 6 and 8 John Street Mascot. There is currently an industrial warehouse on each of the sites.

– The total development site area is 1 125m2. It is located within the Mascot Station Town Centre Precinct (MSTCP) under DCP 2013.

– It is zoned B4.

– The site is bounded by John Street to the south (Boundary 33.995m), the multi unit flat building at 10-14 John Street to the West (Boundary 32.96m), a currently empty warehouse at the rear of 13a Church Avenue Mascot to the North (Boundary 35.03m) and the multi-unit flat building at 3-9 Church Avenue Mascot to the East (Boundary 32.96). The John Street frontage is subject to road widening.

– The project involves the demolition of the two existing warehouses and the construction of a 39 multi unit development comprising 2 levels of basement car parking, 1 part basement/above ground level of car parking and 10 levels of residential units.

– The car parking levels contains 70 car spaces including 2 visitor spaces.

– The 39 units consist of 29 two bedroom units, 8 one bedroom units and 2 studio apartments.

– The ground floor contains 4 units, the typical floor contains 5 units from Level 1 to 3, 4 units up to Level 8 and 1 penthouse unit to Level 9. The building includes 2 x lifts and 2 x escape stairs.

Context

The site is located toward the eastern end of John Street on the northern side. It is within a short walk to Mascot Station and to buses along O’Riordan Street and Gardeners Road. Immediately to the east within 50m there shall be public open space and greenery along the Southern Western Suburbs Ocean Outfall Sewer (SWSOOS) owned by Sydney Water. Many retail and commercial spaces exist within the area and are being developed at nearby town centre hubs. Nearby schools are available along transport routes and one is located nearby on Gardeners Road. In short, all necessary infrastructure for developments of this kind are available.

Surrounding sites are still undergoing transition into mixed use residential development such as those warehouses located to the north and west of the site. Other nearby properties have already been developed with multi unit flat buildings ranging from 7 to 13 stories in height. These are numerous and shown on accompanying location and site analysis plans.

This site has a number of advantages that enable it to sit comfortably within the range of stories that exist within the area. These advantages provide opportunities for the site being developed as a land mark building, appropriately scaled and modelled for its important position near to the eastern entry of John Street. Further details follow.

Scale

The building is both well under the 44m height limit and the RL 51.00 AHD as set by Botany Council and Sydney Airport. At 10/11 stories, it is at the average range and indeed less than the number of stories approved for similar developments in the area, a height appropriate to its position as a visual queue to the eastern entry of John Street. It also recognises its junction with the open landscaped space to the rear of Rina Apartments and its street frontage, which form a gate way position when viewed on arrival from O’Riordan Street.

The site benefits not only from being open on 2 x sides but also from a shared nil boundary arrangement with the western neighbour at 10-14 John Street. This effectively means that the proposed building is not viewed against its relationship to space along this boundary.

Finally, the building is tiered over its height, reducing from 5 units to 3 units per floor typically with a single penthouse on top, thus adjusting its perceived scale from street level and the surrounds.

The later is dealt with under Amenity and in part, under Scale above.

Built Form

The built form responds directly to its relationship to the site, surrounding buildings, the street edge and the amenity of existing and future users.

As the building rises, the outer footprint reduces and is reinforced by material and colour changes to moderate the scale of the building and achieve required distances between buildings.

The building services core is centrally located to maximise external walls to the apartments and to work strategically with the layout of car-parking below. However, the services core is shifted further to the south to optimise usable building area to the north for sun and light.
The building responds to its location at the junction between John Street and the landscaped area to the front of Rina Apartments by rounding this corner and strengthening the curve with various facade treatments.

At podium level, the corner curve is taken across and into the street facade to form a visual queue to the entry.

To help anchor the building and respond to both public and private interfaces, the building is provided with a number of colonnades with darker, recessed treatments to engage with the public whilst to the rear, create a frame work to delineate private courtyards.

Density

The building accommodates 39 units in total comprising of 29 x 2 bedroom units including studies on the podium level and penthouse, 8 x 1 bedroom units on the buildings southern side and 2 x studios also to the southern side.

The emphasis has been placed on 2 bedroom apartments as they are most in demand and reflect the demographics in the area, small to mid-sized families.

Accordingly, the development supports this density by providing north side open space, both private and common, that comply with DCP requirements of built upon and landscaped areas.

In the wider context, The Mascot Station Precinct has been well planned to serve such density with public transport, schools, open space, commercial and retail precincts all close by.

Resource, energy and water efficiency 

Together with the design decisions described above, some of which shall passively reduce energy and water usage within the building, other more direct measures will be implemented. These are detailed in the BASIX commitments including energy and water storage and re-use, lighting choices and efficient mechanical systems.

Landscape

A landscape plan for the podium level plan and roof top communal areas has been provided with details of species choice and their numbers.

Both the common and private landscaped areas are located on the northern side and meet requirements for orientation, relationship to internal space and size.

In this location, they shall receive plenty of sun and light, a balance of lawn, planting and shaded areas for recreation and privacy, and finally, a place to gather off the foyer to provide outdoor amenity for occupants.

Similarly, street trees and planting to the building entry and those to the rear shall soften the street address and the building generally.

Finally, the roof top terrace shall provde a separate, more remote area for residence to gather. There will be access to BBQ facilities and weather protection in addition to good sun and light, particularly in the morning hours before 12:00 noon.

Amenity

As described above, complying open landscaped areas will provide for outside recreational activities.

A number of design features will ensure a high level of amenity inside the building. They are as follows

– All units comply with generous minimum sized areas provided by Botany Council.

– All units comply with generous minimum car parking numbers.

– All units have cross ventilation.

– 77% of units have northern orientation.

Extensive shadow diagrams are provided with the application demonstrating a future development to the north of the subject site maintaining a minimum of 2 hours direct sunlight to 100% of apartment living areas in the middle of winter.

The diagrams also demonstrate that 100% of apartment living areas across the road at 7 John Street shall receive 2 hours direct sunlight in the middle of winter.

Privacy will be maintained within and around the proposed development by complying with all building separation requirements, privacy louvers and solid balustrades as required, and at low level, by courtyard planting and screens.

Safety and Security

The main entrance from John Street will be highly visible from both the street and those units within the development facing the south, particularly the studios at level 1.

One of these studio apartments also has a direct entry off John Street.

Being the one primary entrance, it will also be well frequented by all occupants coming and going from the building, thus encouraging surveillance within the entry lobby.

The entrances including the passage from the rear landscaped areas will be provided with intercom and/or security systems and night lighting.

Social Dimensions

The design of the building will offer a number of opportunities for interaction between occupants and the facilities to support social gatherings and meet ups.

One main entrance, a generous foyer and lobby areas, together with the provision of northern oriented common gardens, shall encourage interaction between the occupants and provide them with both internal and external areas to gather.

Letter boxes close to the entrance and a foyer extending right through from the street to the rear common gardens will ensure incidental meetings and the encouragement to linger within spaces which are light and sunny. A focal tree visible from the foyer will also draw the visitor or resident through the building into the main exterior space.

Aesthetics

Much of the building aesthetic is drawn from the built form which is generated by the many functional requirements of the site and surrounds.
The form is enhanced and highlighted by the modulated facade treatments of balconies, material changes and colour which translate the functional into elements of visual interest.

In summary, the primary elements can be defined separately to the building form as follows:

– The corner facade treatment that responds to the junction of John Street and the adjacent landscaped area to the front of Rina Apartments.

– The brick colonnade features across the podium levels which engage with both the public and private domains.

– In particular, the colour and material contrast, mainly between the red “industrial” face brick colour used for the simple colonnade features and solid faces of the facade compared with the more open, glazed sections of the living spaces and foyers. At least, in part, a reflection of the sites transition from its industrial past into its present day use as a residential precinct.

PROJECT:

Multi-unit apartment building – residential flat building
1 x 10 storey tower containing a total of 39 units including 3 levels of basement car park, 30 X 2 bedroom, 7 X 1 bedroom, and 2 studio apartments
6-8 John Street, Mascot
Botany Council jurisdiction including SEPP 65 review