The NOW Magazine - Winter Edition
Last edition we spoke to renowned architect, Koichi Takada, on the design aesthetics of 889 Collins St. As Takada moved onto the neighbouring 883 Collins St, we went back to take a closer look at the heart of the building, and find out why Takada believes apartment living to be the way of the future.
Melbourne’s past has been shaped by urban sprawl – the iconic idea that everyone should have enough space for a Hills Hoist, barbeque, swimming pool (for some) and a car or three. But lately, Melbourne has opened its eyes to the possibility that apartment life could offer all this and more, without losing the connection to the city, or hours to commute.
Placemaking experts and urban planners are looking to ideas that have been around for decades in cities like New york and Tokyo, but not all apartment developments have the right idea. “Apartments in general are becoming more compact and more ‘efficient’ in terms of planning layout”, says Takada., “so people are having to compromise on space.”
In his latest development at 883 Collins St, however, Takada has taken contemporary luxe and glamour to new heights. He explains that the generously appointed apartments are complemented by not the standard gym and pool, but also by entertainment rooms and outdoor areas. “They become an extension of the living space, a much wider context than the traditional apartment model, where you’re stuck in a confined space.”
Takada lives in an apartment himself, so is intimately familiar with what makes them desirable to live in. “I believe in apartment living. I’m inspired by the ideas of modernism – the building should be like a small community in a vertical, layered way.”
At 883, Takada has build spaces that enable this sense of community. There’s a multifunctional events room, complete with kitchenette for catered events for residents, their friends and guests, and formal dining tables and lounges with views of the water and of the stunning Waterside Place. “It can be a formal or as informal as you like, for drinks and dancing or a kids’ birthday party,” says Takada. On the podium is a roof terrace – with barbeque facilities for sunny summer days – as well as an outdoor events space that can host multiple groups at a time. There’s a theatre room, where residents play a DVD for a romantic movie date or a kids sleep over, and a games room for children (or the young at heart) is set up with all kinds of games and activities, from chess to karaoke.
“That extra space is such an amazing feeling. It’s a bit like the public Zen gardens in Japan, which brings a sense of luxury and tranquillity to people living out of necessity in very confined spaces. In a similar way, the water brings tranquillity and relaxation, with all the perks of the city.”
“It’s also much more sustainable. Just like the great concept of car sharing, living in an apartment is space sharing. So we’re being responsible for the environment while engaging in the productive energy of the city. It creates a hot-spot condition. Everything is there for you – retail and restaurants at your fingertips. That efficiency allows you more freedom to travel, to get away on the weekends.”
With its absolute water frontage and the visual and physical connection to the city, the future looks very appealing from 883 Collins St.
Written by Lily Keil