Terraced apartments are hardly a new building type; the style can be traced all the way back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and was popularised by modernists like Richard Neutra and Robert Mallet-Stevens. Working within both landscape and council constraints, Sydney firm Luigi Rosselli Architects have cultivated a stepped apartment approach to suit the modern resident. Taking in the city views from the enviable suburb of Bellevue Hill, the Triplex Apartments are a far cry from the notion of ‘downsizing’ sometimes associated with apartment living.
Taking advantage of the recently rezoned area, the Triplex Apartments appear from the street as a single storey residence, gradually revealing the individual flats upon closer look. In this way, the sloped site proved to be an asset, allowing each apartment its own views and unique layout while following the natural contours of the land. The individual layouts also imbue each apartment with its own individual features, particularly in the repeated use of materials such as timber and concrete. The concrete is particularly striking in the tapered concrete columns and raked concrete ceilings. Left exposed and horizontally fluted, the ceilings take on new character of their own as they simultaneously draw the eye up and outwards while grounding the otherwise white spaces in an industrial materiality.
The overall shape of the building is slightly concave, furthering the softness between natural landscape and building and creating a feeling of openness and light throughout the apartments. Inside the apartments, Luigi Rosselli Architects have teamed up with Romy Alwill of Alwill Interiors to bring a refined yet deft touch to each home. Playing off the spatial curves, Alwill has favoured rounded edges and circular shapes in furnishings and built-in design features, paring back the selection to a gallery-like assortment that emphasises the elegant proportions of the space itself. While the Triplex Apartments may have been intended as an ideal home for those downsizing from the suburban house, in architecture and interior design it’s undoubtably an elegant step up.
Tucked away behind a sandstone wall and front gardens designed by William Dangar, the Triplex Apartments are withdrawn from the road to create space and privacy. You can glimpse the distinct curves of the building of the building in the front facade, as well as a touch of the concrete that features throughout each of the three apartments.