This mixed-use residential project offers affordable starter homes arranged around a vibrant square in OMA’s masterplan for the new city centre. Due to its position in the masterplan, the challenge was to formulate an architectural and urban response that defined the borders of the city centre, mediating between old versus new city fabric, fast versus slow city movement and the lower parking level versus the raised shopping deck. The required mix of private and public functions further increased the brief’s complexity.
The subsequent angular building form mediates between these opposing urban conditions and ensures that the new square, with its shop fronts and cafes, is protected from the ring road and associated traffic noise. On one side of the block, secluded private balconies are orientated to the square and to the sun; on the other side, a glazed, acoustic screen shelters circulation spaces and roof terraces.
An important consideration has been to confront the diverse requirements for the elevation within a singular design concept. Our proposal wraps the building in a continuous ‘skin’ of glass and aluminium panels. This establishes a strong, clear identity to the building. Differentiation is created by responding to local conditions with subtle changes in transparency, opacity and colour.