SAINTSt Kilda VIC Australia
Defined by its masonry exterior, SAINT is a medium-sized, modest residential project that connects materiality, craftsmanship and a domestic scale of construction. Situated close to the entertainment, food and retail precincts of Acland and Fitzroy Streets, SAINT aims to create a strong residential community encouraging walkability and social interaction through extensive, light-filled corridors, walkways and gardens.
Taking its design cues from the area’s signature brick walk-up flats, SAINT uses masonry and steel in a contemporary way to reference the neighbourhood’s architectural vernacular.
Integrating the work of a local artist into the development was a key aspect of the project. An extensive search led to the discovery of Melbourne artist Cliff Burtt’s whose work is a series of ‘eroded’ Corten steel columns that lead into the building itself, seemingly supporting it. It was important that the sculpture didn’t feel like an extraneous addition to the building, but rather how they could be integrated to almost become part of the structural components of the building, giving something back to the streetscape and engaging its residents.
The buildings surround private landscaped areas that create movement through the architectural space. These include a main internal courtyard, gardens to the rear of the townhouses and a rooftop garden on level three. The courtyard incision performs multiple functions – it provides light and ventilation to residences, common spaces and a ground-level walkway, and a micro-ecosystem.
Internally, the apartments and townhouses showcase two unique monochromatic and natural themes defined by the materiality of the exterior and Burtt’s sculpture. Cliff’s Corten steel inspires a warm bronze palette while a darker coloured palette speaks to the exterior’s masonry and black steel. The interiors include timber flooring, matching veneer treatments with porcelain benchtops, vanities and tiling.
SAINT is an example of multi-residential living done well, proving that art and architecture, craftsmanship and sustainability, can be seamlessly integrated to create a healthy and happy community.