Working with the site topography to maintain the lowest profile possible whilst affording residents maximum views and privacy.
The site for the Searene Apartments project is situated on the steep north eastern slopes of the hills to the west of Airlie Beach. It enjoys spectacular views over the Whitsunday Passage and the island seascape. The site is a battle-axe in shape with the bulk of the site located west off a long and steep driveway from Seaview Drive.
The apartment building is generally located at the upper levels of the site where the contours run west-north-west toward the eastern side of the site and then swing around to the south on the eastern edge. The overall building form generally follows the line of the contours to ensure minimum excavation and a sympathetic built form to the landscape character. This ensures maximum frontage to the best views and maintenance of building height within the requirements of the Town Plan.
The architectural form is conceived as a minimalist intervention into the landscape maintaining the lowest profile possible notwithstanding the steep nature of the site. All apartments are arranged in a stepped form to follow the contours of the site whilst still allowing a northern aspect towards the view, and accessed by a common protected walkway on the southern edge of the building. The stepped form of the apartments from north-west to south-east and then at the eastern end stepping down the hill in a terraced form, responds to the natural land form and is enclosed by an overall curvilinear form similar to the topography of the land itself. This results in a large ‘S’ shape to the building evoking an organic character.
RAIA QLD Commendation
- Maximum access to views, whilst affording privacy to residents
- Sophisticated, contemporary response to the topography and landscape character of the Airlie Beach hillsides
- Building form follows the line of the site contours which maintains building height within three storeys and 12 metres as required by the Town Plan