Occupying a brownfield site in the popular Sydney inner west location of Dulwich Hill, the Prevue Living development delivers architectural street appeal, using a clever blend of durable cladding and recycled materials from the original dwellings.
Apartments at Dulwich hill
As a brand new building in a suburb with a strong historic and community feel, the Prevue Living project had a lot of boxes to tick for form and function. Melbourne-based construction company Loxton Builders were engaged by the Bower Property Group to bring out the best in a smart and sensitive design from architect Rodrigo Uriarte with Richard Briggs. Together the whole team have put creative and problem- solving skills to excellent use in a bold, multi-dwelling development that perfectly complements industrial and Federation buildings in the neighbourhood.
“The site is about 2000m2, surrounded by jacaranda and gum trees”, says James Ind, Site Manager for Loxton Builders. “It was important for the materials and colour palette to work with the natural and urban characteristics of the setting. We cut to size oregon timbers from the original beams and used these to create patterns in the concrete formwork, as well as ceiling battens.”
“It’s this linear quality to the finishes that led us to choose Axon™ Cladding by James Hardie™. It has the profile we needed to work in harmony with the other materials. Plus, it’s a durable product that comes with an outstanding warranty. Having this project looking good for years to come is important to maintaining the reputation we have in the building trade.”
Apartments at Dulwich hill
While the leafy outlook is a big drawcard for future residents of the one, two and three-bedroom units, it created headaches for the build team. “There wasn’t space to put a tower crane on the site,” says James. “Working with our James Hardie™ rep we managed to come up with a workable approach using a mobile crane, scaffolding and a lot of determination. The end result is a high-quality and robust architectural finish which stands up to the closest scrutiny at street level.”
Using EasyLap™ Panel from James Hardie on the highest level also made the cladding process less cumbersome and more cost-effective. “The architects specified an aluminium fascia for this level, but we had concerns about installing this material high up as such large sheets can easily warp or get damaged as you manoeuvre them into place,” says James. “We suggested EasyLap™ Panel as a durable and affordable alternative to create the look the architects wanted.”
The partnership between architects and builders was a very successful and creative one when it came to refining the design onsite. Both James and Peter Jardim, director of Loxton Builders and project manager for Prevue, were committed to using their construction expertise to further enhance the façade. In working out these details, they saw an opportunity to take full advantage of the versatility of James Hardie™ exterior cladding solutions. “We used Axon™ Claddingto construct doors for access to water and electricity meters, with the boards perfectly aligned so you can’t even see where the external walls end and door panels begin.”
James and his team also used mathematical magic to ensure every detail of the complex building façade was finished to the highest standard. “With so many pop-outs an balconies, and units spanning two and sometimes three storeys, there was plenty of detailing to figure out.”
“Once we had the set out planned, installing Axon™ Cladding was very fast and straightforward. On a project of this scale and complexity, we’d expect to have a number of management team members overseeing this stage of the build. With James Hardie™ designed fibre cement products being easy to handle and a clear plan to follow, our carpentry trades were able to get on with the job with minimal supervision from myself as Site Manager.”