Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Crystal Gardens in Melbourne, Australia by CK Designworks
May 17th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Crystal Gardens to set new world sustainability standards
Australian international architecture firm CK Designworks has designed a ground breaking 35-storey residential and commercial mixed use building for Melbourne’s CBD that will contain landscaped community gardens on every sixth floor equivalent to about double the area of the site with trees up to 10m tall.
Project architect and partner of CK Designworks, Robert Caulfield said the 35 storey building, to be known as Crystal Gardens was on a tiny 360 square metre block, about half the size of an average Melbourne house block but would still have enormous park areas set aside for the residents.
“We have achieved this by in effect designing a vertical street with a pocket park at every sixth floor, facing north, east or west so they will be usable in every season”, Mr. Caulfield said.
“Melbourne consistently rates as one of the world’s most liveable cities, partly due to its expansive parks and gardens but developers should now look at rooftop gardens and high rise parks as the next step in the greening of the world’s cities. The development will include ground floor retail, three floors of offices and 154 apartments, which will set new standards of sustainability.
Design architect Belinda Griffin said that rainwater will be collected from the facades and used for garden watering and toilet flushing. Energy efficient lights and water efficient appliances will be used throughout and an innovative heating, cooling and hot water supply plant would be located in each garden area, minimizing pipe runs.
The building will be clad in heat reflective glass and with its faceted balconies will have the appearance of a sparkling crystal punctuated by greenery. Mr. Caulfield said that the corner site would make the building very prominent and CK Designworks was investigating the options for solar powered feature lighting so that the crystal garden like appearance would become a significant landmark for Melbourne in the early evening hours.
The project shows an excellent financial return, partly due to the premium expected on the sale of garden apartments, but also because planning approval was achieved for a project more than double the recommended height limit. “This is a win for everyone. More useable city parks, higher urban density, top levels of sustainability, reduced urban heat sink, carbon capture and increased profitability for the developer,” Mr. Caulfield said.
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