When considering the possibility of living in an apartment, even the largest apartment feels like a compromise. With Walsh Street Apartments, Be Architecture created an alternative option: an apartment that looks and feels like a house. By providing everything people look for in a house, Walsh Street, South Yarra rethinks the idea of downsizing to an apartment without losing anything.
Located on one of the most sought after streets in Melbourne, the boutique development has the scale and appearance of a single residence. In a block of two, each apartments each cover one level, distinguished from one another by the use of contrasting materials on the outside – the top is monolithic and white and the bottom is dark, textural and tactile.
There is an emphasis on privacy so that occupants do not often see their neighbours within the confines of their home. A deep set cut out on the upper level and a recessed terrace on the ground level give generous light and greenery as well as private, covered outdoor spaces. These terraces are large enough to host a gathering of friends and positioned to have no risk of onlookers from adjacent properties.
The interior spaces are extremely well planned out – everything you need, where you need it. A shared grand foyer gives both residences a feeling of arrival. Each occupant has two living spaces and a well-appointed study like a bespoke home. Likewise, room sizing is more in line with luxury housing than those typical of apartments.
The residence includes refined materiality and custom details to make it feel personal. The use of traditional materials, such as timber and stone are tactile and add a rich texture throughout. Custom lights and hand painted doors incorporate time-honoured craftsmanship. A hand-made quality is evident in the steel handrail that is rolled to fit the palm of the hand and a decorative screen incorporated in the skylight. Even most houses would not have this level of finishing.