Alta Apartments, Adelaide
Come for the view, stay for the design
Australian Institute of Architects, Architecture Award Residential (Multiple Housing), 2013
New city residential developments tend to take their design references from their neighbours or the streetscape. The strict grid that defines Adelaide’s CBD and the uniformity of its low-rise forms beyond the city centre shape most design responses. Precious exceptions occur when the landscape is a collaborator not a constraint. South Terrace gave Tectvs the design clues for a distinctive apartment building.
As the southern boundary of the original Adelaide city plan, South Terrace is a historic presence defined by its large old street trees and ensuring and exclusive views of the Southern Park Lands. Trees, foliage, the seasons and light provide a continuum of change and movement for South Terrace dwellings and dwellers.
Tectvs designed six-storey Alta as an embroidered reflection of its setting on the edge of a natural landscape. A band of natural finish copper perforated by irregular openings of white translucent glass simulates the interplay between light, air and leaves.
Interiors are spacious, bright and feature piercing views of the Southern Park Lands framed to collaborate with the individual dwellings. A sculptural laser-cut metal screen provides a similar texture at ground level and the parklands presence is capped with a roof garden.
Alta apartments provide a refined luxury that contributes to the city from both street-level and balcony level.