This project, designed by I Architecture and built by Project Coordination, has a number of complex and intense uses that combine within a compact footprint on a tightly planned site. It demanded a large varitety of windows and external door types to provide the necessary light, ventilation, access and solar access according to the needs of each internal space.
As a building which has a primary purpose of providing shelter to homeless men it had to meet a number of criteria to ensure the comfort and wellbeing of various occupants, up to 20 men at any time. Each person is provided with their own suite that contains a private bathroom to enhance their sense of dignity. Natural light and ability to use natural ventilation as an option to each air conditioned room was a major design consideration. Also, outlook to the external environment from bathrooms, whilst providing privacy from neighbouring properties was achieved using high level 400 Series Centre Glazed strip windows without the need for blinds or curtains.
Selected rooms also access elevated narrow ‘smoking’ balconies outside the room, for which self closing Series 542 Sliding Doors with comfort plus glass were the only solution which could satisfy all requirements for natural light and ventilation, access, views and solar access for the room.
Communal lounge and dining areas areas were given generous full height 400 Series Centre Glazed fixtures, looking into a common landscaped courtyard. Again, sliding glass doors provided generous and unrestricted external access.
Office areas within the building benefit from shared natural light via other rooms using internal windows in some areas. Teaching spaces for the men were given windows that gave street views at a height that still maintained privacy.
Architectural articulation of the window systems allowed expression to be given to different parts of visible facades according to the required character. The kitchen, communal lounge and managers office are all provided with angled window orientations with louvred shade hoods that give emphasis and a ‘fun’ element to the shared driveway façade.
The end of the main building wing is enhanced with façade patterning and contrasting colour and finish and square 400 Series porthole windows that appear randomly placed within a banded façade pattern. The main street façade is animated and active with the use of steel framed modules that provide sun shading and suspended balconies as well as privacy screens to bathrooms.
Carteful window sizing, placement and grouping allows the façade to present an element of character and vibrancy to the street and thus ‘de-institutionalises’ the whole building.