OVER THE LAST few years, there’s been an increase in the number of collaborations between forward-thinking property developers and their chosen architects. It’s a significant partnership bearing in mind the often tenuous relationship between the commercial and the creative. Design-led development is gaining traction, fuelled by architectural developers such as Orchard Piper, whose director Luke McKie recognises the importance of using premium materials and responding to the local vernacular in multi-residential. Orchard Piper’s latest project, Huntingtower Road in Melbourne’s leafy Armadale, marks the company’s fifth time working with acclaimed architect Stephen Jolson, and the first as a quartet alongside landscaper Myles Baldwin and Tamsin Johnson who was responsible for the concept phase of the interior fit-out.
Although each designer was entrusted with a clearly defined role, the group synergy resulted in 10 well-resolved and ultrasophisticated double story, light-drenched residences. Seamless garden-centric living was pivotal to the brief, with Stephen and Myles working closely to maximise the building’s connection to the outdoors. Inspired by European colonnades, Stephen created a series of clean-lined loggias and contemporary arches with split-level forms to frame Myles’ landscaping with its climbers, flowering shrubs and deciduous trees. “The classic render of the architecture made for the perfect backdrop to a highly textural planting scheme,” says Myles, who used lots of mounding shrubbery to “take the edge off the architecture”.
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