The Platform Apartments
City West Housing
North Eveleigh, NSW
The provision of well-considered amenable affordable housing within centrally located mixed use precincts is vital to the livability of our cities. The Platform Apartments, located in Sydney’s North Eveleigh, is an outstanding example of the affordable housing model as it is innovative, highly amenable, environmentally efficient and specifically designed for purpose. It was also constructed within a tight budget and programme and has achieved great synergies with its heritage and arts context.
We were engaged by City West Housing to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement in support of a State Significant Development for affordable housing on the site, and also prepared the Development Application to NSW Department of Planning and Environment following an extensive consultation process with the local community and relevant authorities. We were also appointed the project architect.
As an affordable housing project, City West Housing’s (CWH) original project brief required that we maximise the number of apartments, with a particular focus on compact single bedroom and studio units (>50%). It also required that the proposal fully comply with accessibility and bicycle space requirements and to provide 50% of the required amount of car parking spaces.
The provision of practically conceived open spaces to allow for casual meeting and interaction places and the integration of substantial landscape was highly desirable. In addition, CWH asked that we consider durability and low maintenance in the selection of all materials and fittings. While the clients also required that the new programme be contained within a compliant six storey envelope, they were open to exceeding it in places, provided that it was consistent with a sound heritage and design argument.
The design comprises 88 apartments distributed over six levels accessed from generous lobbies at the eastern and western ends of the building, linking open covered galleries on its southern elevation. To emphasise its main lobby, an extra level was provided at its eastern end, an addition that also allows signals access to a communal roof terrace.
The apartment mix of 10 x studios (11%), 37 x one-bedroom apartments (42%), 36 x two-bedroom apartments (41%) and three-bedroom apartments (6%) responds directly to the client brief. The evolution of an open gallery was an essential part of the design process; it has demonstrated that it enhances casual interaction between residents, as well as allowing a high number of naturally ventilated compact dwellings. It has also influenced the building’s architectural expression and response to the rail noise to the south. With the communal open spaces at ground and roof level, it has proven to be one of the most popular components of the building.
Australian Institute of Architects NSW Residential Architecture, Multiple Housing, Commendation, 2016
Australian Institute of Architects City of Sydney Lord Mayor’s Prize, Finalist, 2016
UDIA NSW Affordable Development Award, 2015
Think Brick Awards, Finalist, 2015