Born from an innovative and meticulous design philosophy, Compose is set to become an architectural exemplar for the area. Crafted for the Hawthorn of tomorrow and yet firmly rooted in the rich heritage of its past, the architecture will provide an elevated living experience whilst offering an enduring addition to Melbourne’s most iconic streetscape.
The form of the building is strong in its simplicity; long, linear and well-articulated, it utilises rhythm to form a cohesive visual language. Further articulation is achieved by shuffling each townhouse along the length of the site, providing a sense of individuality and creating a green corridor to the rear townhouses.
Through analysis of Glenferrie Rd’s streetscape and surrounding built form, the architectural concept was formed as a composition of stepping rectangular prism forms which step in two ways. Firstly, to integrate the terrace homes by gently stepping down with the level of natural topography. Secondly, to articulate the facade frontages by staggering their layout, and bringing a sense of individuality and privacy to each home. These stepped building forms are composed in harmony with the landscape, instilling a natural sense of architectural rhythm, like the musical notes of a harmonic melody.
The facades of Compose are formed as a series of red brick loops, juxtaposed with cantilevered black steel loops windows. Large format windows with northern orientation are provided with metal sun-shading screens. These screens act as a veil, enabling the internal capture of light and opportunities to gaze out to the landscape beyond, all whilst maintaining a sense of privacy. The perforated screens serve to bring a bespoke quality to the facade, connecting inside with outside and enhancing the space between.
Sensitively designed, the landscape surrounds the terrace homes and actively connects residents with a vibrant garden experience. Living rooms are designed with garden terraces at both ends, and master-bedrooms provide serene rooftop terraces with planters and green climbers.
The interiors of Compose feel connected to the external landscape, applying a calm and classic aesthetic. They are luxuriously appointed with generous living, dining and kitchen spaces, all featuring direct access to private terraces. Flooring is polished concrete flowing to oak timber floors and into carpeted bedrooms. Bathrooms feature natural stone vanities, porcelain tiles and freestanding baths. Kitchens are complete with top of the range appliances, natural stone benchtops and each with a unique fine metal mirrored bar. Integrated living and dining joinery tie these spaces together, providing a holistic interior offering with ample storage. A timeless and warm composition of elements that feels like home.
Sustainable principles have been carefully considered, with passive solar design of the terrace homes utilising a dual aspect layout with north-south orientation. This allows access to good quality light for internal spaces. Shading is also provided to the northern glazing, with good cross ventilation to dwellings. A rain-garden, rainwater tanks and water reuse also form part of the sustainable
Importantly, a sense of community is inherent at Compose. The green entrance walkway, with landscaped arbours, terraces and gates, provides opportunities for conversations with neighbours, and encourages residents to socialise within their surroundings. Overall, the heritage-inspired architecture of Compose and socially-sustainable form of living is designed with future residents front of mind.
Compose is located in close proximity to the Glenferrie Road shops and public transportation. Additional public amenities such as Hawthorn Library and numerous schools are also within close proximity to the site.
The materiality of the building is sympathetic to its location through the use of restrained and high-quality facade treatments. Compose seeks to complement the existing character of the streetscape and surrounding suburb through the use of a masonry base (red-brick, render and bluestone cladding), creating a feeling of longevity and quality. The red-brick is drawn from immediate heritage examples such as St Josephs School to the south and Hawthorn Presbyterian Church across the road. This tactile, rough brick is complemented by smooth charcoal steel reveals and the textured perforated screens. The upper most floor is clad in dark metal cladding allowing the setback to appear even more recessive and differentiated from the lower facade treatment.
Careful consideration has been given to the planning of the terrace homes. The articulated mass means passive ESD initiatives such as cross flow ventilation and solar gain are well utilized. The layouts afford a high level of amenity and flexibility to the internal spaces, with generous storage areas, living space and kitchens. The terrace homes have been designed with privacy and quality of living in mind, utilising perforated screens which moderate the light, privacy and views to the landscape below.
Gardens have been masterfully curated by Eckersley Garden Architecture.
Established by iconic designer Rick Eckersley, with partners Scott Leung and Myles Broad, Eckersley Garden Architecture understands how space and facility work together. They design for lifestyle and amenity, believing both form and function should be considered and neither compromised. With a horticultural focus, they create relaxed and tactile gardens that invite their occupants to enjoy their outdoor space. You won’t find rows of box hedge here – just plenty of dirt under their fingernails.
Each terrace home has been gifted with an expansive courtyard, encouraging outdoor living and entertaining. Nestled amongst verdant shrubs, rambling vines and a selection of mature trees, these considered spaces have been designed to create a sense of enclosure – of being completely immersed in natural beauty. A beautiful combination of evergreen and deciduous plants provides residents with a changing vista throughout the year.