Botanica is centred around its relationship to its key contextual characteristics: the mature trees and parklands; the existing heritage buildings adjacent; and the wider community its nestled in.
Hames Sharley and DKO Architecture began the design process by researching and vigorously testing the Glenside masterplan. Glenside – a 17.1ha mixed-use urban development – is located just 2km from Adelaide’s CBD. It is a true example of infill development that not only provides much-needed inner-city density but strengthens and bolsters the community through the amenity and public spaces provided.
By drawing on the two studios’ skills, Hames Sharley and DKO Architecture created a design that considers the macro context and community as well as the micro details. The brief for Botanica was to showcase housing diversity while being sympathetic to the site’s heritage, history and landscape.
As one of the first apartment developments at Glenside, the design team were cognisant of the legacy and standard it was setting for future developments. The proportions have been carefully analysed and attention to how the building is viewed, and its interaction with the street, thoroughly scrutinised and tested.
Nearby is the heritage-listed South Australia Film Corporation building, inspiring the material selection, scale and relationship to ground plane.
One strong consideration for the design of Botanica was its closeness to Glenside Health Services and the movement of patients and residents to and from the facility through the site. By incorporating view corridors and channelling materials from the public realm, the community was awarded the ‘right to roam’ across the site. Through-site links at ground level and an integrated pocket park and square encourage the wider community to interact with the building and residents. Landscape architects, MDG, were instrumental in the creation of these spaces that encourage chance meetings across the site while maintaining key pedestrian links to the parkland beyond.
One of the driving concepts was to absorb the park context through sensory experience. The building’s form and details have been heavily influenced by the existing eucalypt groves and vegetation on site. The resulting shade and dappled light from the tree canopy are emulated in the design through the use of shading devices. These bronze fin screens disrupt the façade and reflect the natural stratification of the surrounding landscape while providing softer light and shading to the apartment interiors. The incorporation of these shading devices also feeds into the team’s commitment to sustainable design practices. The screens deflect intense light, providing efficient passive cooling system, reducing the need for air conditioning.
The apartments were designed to cater for modern lifestyles with distinct ways of living and using space. Generous balconies and discrete ground-level courtyards allow residents to extend their living space and capture the breezes, dappled light and leafy views that characterise this site. A more overt homage to its botanic surrounds is found in the interplay of dark timber finishes in the apartment interiors. Materials and finishes were carefully selected, with sustainable and local products given preference.
Thanks to the successful collaboration between architects Hames Sharley and DKO Architecture as well as the wider consultant team and client Cedar Woods, Botanica is contextually driven with a strong identity, rooted in its attention to detail, management of space and relationship with its natural surrounds.