With a design more than fitting for a leafy green and well-established bayside environment, Elwood House, the site of the former RSL hall in the heart of Elwood Village, reflects sophisticated architectural detail at its best.
Located on the corner of Pine Avenue and Ormond Road, Elwood House begins with a magnificent tiered façade, layering natural, resilient materials, including handmade Petersen bricks, exquisite off form concrete, metal and stone, along with irrigated balcony planter boxes overflowing with greenery. And, with a design brief to ‘take the outside in,’ this façade ably sets the scene for what you’ll continue to find within each of the 30 luxury apartments over its four storeys: absolute quality and immaculate detail.
It’s no surprise that this collaborative development by an inspiring team – Piccolo, Woods Bagot (external façade) and Hecker Guthrie (internal design) – was sold off the plan prior to construction. Proof that the owner-occupier market of downsizers and affluent professionals has a discerning eye for quality, even before the soil is turned. So, for the developer, the pressure was on to deliver: “Getting the details right is of upmost importance, as every single element – big and small – has a bearing on whether you exceed a purchaser’s expectations or not. We always want to surprise our clients with an outcome better than they imagined,” comments Michael Piccolo, Director, Piccolo.
With a combination of natural textures adorning the façade and the interiors alike, one of the biggest challenges in building Elwood House, from a practical viewpoint, was delivering on these expectations of detail. Material choice, then, was absolutely critical.
Fortunately, from the developer’s point of view, choosing bricks – a key design feature of the façade – was an easy task. Petersen bricks instantly hit the mark. Toby Earle, Development Manager at Piccolo, says, “When we saw the product it just seemed to fit the mould. The colour palette and the slender profile of the brick was the clincher. And Petersen bricks were referenced and used locally in projects across Elwood, so we wanted to use them in the palette of materials.”
There is no doubt that Petersen bricks make their mark on every project. “When you look at the brick on mass, it looks almost like it’s got a fine grain to it, and we particularly liked the mix of handmade Kolumba and Flensborg bricks,” says Toby. But, like any great artwork, getting the brick design right took time. Toby continues, “We spent a lot of time with Robertson’s Building Products playing around with the brick bonds to make them work.” As you can see, it was worth the time spent, and more. It’s an absolutely exquisite result, both outside and in.
Being a boutique development, creating a sense of individuality was important. So each Elwood House apartment is unique, with entirely bespoke interiors, designed as an individual house. The choice of Petersen bricks perfectly aligns with this design intent. Being handmade, every brick is unique, creating a rich tapestry of colours and a rustic, textured finish that adds just that little bit of extra interest. And, in line with ‘taking the outside in’, Petersen bricks beautifully complement the internal finishes as well, being used as feature walls in bedrooms and kitchens, and on the framed door entry to every apartment.
Apart from the façade’s perfect blending of natural, textured materials, one of the most outstanding features of this luxury residential development is the three storey, brick lined atrium in the building’s foyer, complete with a water feature and reflection pool. Toby aptly describes it as, “an old fashioned breezeway, taken to another level, and one of the most dramatic and successful parts of the building.” The sense of space and calm is overwhelming, as Toby continues, “That mix of resilient materials and the surprise you get when you walk through the foyer, with this natural space, like a huge chimney, is just amazing.”
Of course, the real test is in the satisfaction of the owners themselves who had the good fortune and great sense to buy off plan. Toby proudly says that, “The response from all has been outstanding, they’ve been absolutely wrapped.” And while you can’t always guarantee absolute success when you buy off plan, in the capable and creative hands of this dynamic trio of professionals, it’s clear the only guarantees are zero risk and 100% satisfaction.
For more information on the Petersen bricks used in this project, please contact Robertson’s Building Products on +613 8199 9599.
In the meantime, why not browse through the media coverage this amazing project has generated by clicking the links below:
Architect: Woods Bagot
Interior Design: Hecker Guthrie
Product: Petersen K55 (528 x 108 x 37mm) and FF55 (228 x 108 x 40mm)
Photographer: Shannon McGrath