Previously referred to as ‘The Block’, this triangular-shaped site is now home for students. The site, adjacent to Redfern Station, now features a public domain forecourt and a building form that responds to the unique interfaces and urban context. The low rise form responding to local terrace house vernacular and the slender tower responding to the city context and railway line.
The building is part of a larger precinct that includes affordable housing, community gym, kindergarten and local workplace spaces. Working collaboratively with Scott Carver and Indigenous artist Danny Eastwood Turner integrated the public domain and public art strategy into the building fabric and identity – the art wall along the street edge, the soffit to the entry and the family of turtles moving across the façade.
Turner took inspiration from the immediate surrounds, past and present. Profiled precast concrete panels heighten the play of light and shadow while the use terracotta in hues of colours that celebrate the original flora that was once endemic to the site.
Rather than just create outdoor spaces, here there’s a sense of the ‘back yard’, that can be found in pockets around the building and in the communal rooftop garden, complete with barbeques and amenities. Internally there are a collection of private and communal study areas, a gymnasium, cinema and a ‘family room’ central to the site that has a communal lounge, kitchen and dining room.
There are 519 rooms ranging from studios to twin-share and clusters that accommodate five students, each with their own rooms but sharing facilities. Even when the design is for one, this space features high ceilings, a separate bedroom, and a galley-style kitchen. Colour also features strongly, with vibrant shades on each level used both to individualise levels and as a means of way finding.