Enjoyed by All – Balfe Park Lane by Kerstin Thompson Architects
Comprising 72 dwellings across four buildings, Balfe Park Lane by Kerstin Thompson Architects has been designed as an exemplar in medium-density housing.
Located in a heavily populated section of Nicholson Street and backing onto nearby Balfe Park, the design prioritises amenity, housing diversity and community building for occupants and neighbours. Co-working and commercial retail spaces combine with private residences to adeptly respond to the challenging L-shaped infill site. A new bluestone laneway along the western boundary offers a greater sense of connectivity to Balfe Park for the occupants, while entrance laneways to the east provide links with East Brunswick Village.
The increased activity encouraged at the building’s entrance permeates throughout the entire design. Stoop seats and porches occupy the park boundary, as circular walkways and a large courtyard at the centre of the site help to foster a greater sense of community across the four distinct buildings. As one ventures towards the upper levels, this shared experience makes way for increased privacy, with considered balconies and terraces encouraging introspection as opposed to passive surveillance. The presence of both Balfe Park and the courtyard garden maximises natural light and ventilation, utilising the 60 metres of direct park frontage.
Kerstin Thompson Architects purports that, rather than placing the emphasis on lavish fixtures and fittings, Balfe Park Lane has instead focused upon good bones. To that end, the façade and materials used in the exterior construction rely heavily on brickwork and concrete as a nod to the architectural character of Nicholson Street and surrounding areas. Cross-flow ventilation is present in all dwellings, whilst a solar system for power generation, rooftop composting and vegetable gardens, rainwater harvesting and electronic car charging stations offer sustainable amenity that can be enjoyed by all.
The increased activity encouraged at the building’s entrance permeates throughout the entire design.
Most impressively, Balfe Park Lane achieves high level compliance to Liveable Housing Australia’s Liveable Design Standards – ensuring a building that is not only aesthetically relevant to its setting but respectful of its role in offering amenity and comfort to those fortunate enough to call it home.