Photographer: James Coombe

E589 Apartments by Architects EAT | Apartment blocks ×

Photographer: James Coombe

E589 Apartments by Architects EAT | Apartment blocks ×

Photographer: James Coombe

E589 Apartments by Architects EAT | Apartment blocks ×

E589 is a compact 10 storey 55 unit residential apartment building in the City of Melbourne. Within the developer, estate agent and market driven apartment design typology, this project addresses the challenge of achieving liveability, urban dialogue and architectural aesthetic. E589 achieves this within an otherwise utilitarian development parameters and modest individual apartment footprints.

The project is an architecture of patterning, orchestrated by the participation of the building’s occupants. The myriad positions of the balcony louvres that dominate the two street facades are a direct manifestation of the users’ interaction with their environment. The result is two highly dynamic envelopes that can form a closed cube, or can open completely, with a full spectrum of permutations in-between. The fully motorised sunscreen system, which responds automatically to the wind and rain, enhances occupants’ comfort and experience, yet can be overridden by individual apartments for desired level of privacy and solar access.

We used façade elements to explore solid vs void. They are painted in the austere, reflective colour of white to amplify light and shadows. This essay of composition is furthermore an interaction with the immediate context - the ground floor soffit connects with its neighbours at pedestrian level; and the horizontal steel member of Level 2 balcony is perfectly aligned with the gutter of the adjoining 2 storey building. At Level 1 and Level 8, façade elements are omitted in response to the brick façade to the south, and rooftop of the 8-storey building to the north.

The 500 sqm site has a width to depth ratio of 3. To efficiently utilise the footprint to achieve cost benefit for the developer, a pair of voids measured at 3.5 x 6m and 3 x 2.5m are inserted to allow apartment balconies and windows to face inward. These voids that provide light and air are additionally lined up with those at the adjoining apartment building in order to reduce vertical air drafts. An airier effect is achieved with the “borrowed” voids, allowing the inward facing apartment to breathe better, and this also extends to the ground floor foyer for natural ventilation. Fixed louvres act as visual barriers between the properties.

Richard Meier said, “White is never just white, within it is the colours of the rainbow” – in E589 the white of the facades passes through an invisible prism on the ground floor, is then refracted and separated into individual colours of the rainbow over the nine floors above. The common areas of each level are painted in Red, Coral, Orange, Yellow, Green, Olive, Blue, Violet and Purple – moving through the corridors is like pacing inside a Kelly Ellsworth painting of single block colour.

Goethe imagined darkness not just as absence of light but as its own active force - in tribute to Goethe and more local cultural events such as White Night Melbourne, coloured LEDS have been utilised as part of the balcony illumination, inviting the occupants to playfully colour the night sky.

Architects EAT

Photographer: James Coombe

E589 Apartments by Architects EAT | Apartment blocks ×

Photographer: James Coombe

E589 Apartments by Architects EAT | Apartment blocks ×

Photographer: James Coombe

E589 Apartments by Architects EAT | Apartment blocks ×