Jackson Clements Burrows Architects of Melbourne, Australia, bring us this 5-level, 29-apartment residential development in inner-city Richmond. But this isn’t just any apartment building, either; it’s set up so that there’s a two-story “townhouse” style area at ground level, while the remaining stories contain one and two-bedroom apartments. Structured in such a way that each apartment has maximum floor space, making it an attractive rental to tenants shopping for the best deal, at the same time its façade cleverly disguises the height in comparison to other houses on the same street. The tall abstract wall, with its fun circular “windows,” is complemented by circular planters at its base and clever up-lighting that makes the wall more sculpture than structure — a motif that continues through wood dividers between the dwellings.
A narrow stone courtyard provides an easy walkway around the building from either entrance, while a row of plantings gives tenants a welcome sight of “green.” Upper-level apartment windows located directly above the main entrance are screened by horizontal metallic slat work that looks like a giant “blind” on the outside of the building. Interiors of the apartments are neutral — white, gray, and wood grain, a “blank canvas” upon which each occupant can imprint his or her own style. Large sliding glass doors enable a blend of indoors and outdoors on the ground floors while providing ample natural light above, another plus not always seen in more conventional apartment buildings. In this and other ways, Hue provides a refreshing setting for a flat in the heart of the city — and a minimalist “footprint” to boot.