The Cirqua project represents a shift in the multi-residential market that has been evolving over the past 2-4years. Prospective owners are increasingly buying into the apartment market (over detached housing) as a matter of choice rather than necessity. Where previously apartments were largely aimed at the investment market, or those who could not afford to buy a house, the majority of Cirqua’s tenants comprise owner-occupiers. This shift is typified in the design approach of Cirqua, which has larger apartments, great diversity of type (38 out of 42 apartments are unique), large balconies and generous landscaping. The amenity of the dwellings, the quality of build, sustainability and a strong ‘sense of place’ are the key drivers of this project. The dwelling units are conceived of as ‘homes’ rather than ‘product’.
Situated on a steeply sloping site, the project involved the consolidation of two neighbouring properties into a single block. The design has been carried out to provide a strong sense of address for tenants whilst maintaining a street rhythm and scale that stitches the project into its context.
Cirqua is designed to carefully consider accessibility and passive environmental performance with all apartments’ bedrooms and living areas having direct access to natural light and ventilation. Generous glazing maximises connections to the surrounding garden, with significant landscaping integrated into the design, capturing the ‘Garden City’ essence of Ivanhoe. Through careful analysis of the existing context, the building design draws on the materiality and expression of local, historical housing types and reinterprets them in a contemporary manner. The building facades are highly articulated to reduce the overall building’s mass and present a smaller scale, highly articulated development to the street.