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There are cookie-cutter-style apartments and then there are bespoke house-sized apartments, designed for those wanting to scale down or looking for a low-maintenance home. Approximately 50 metres from the Elwood foreshore and on a street dotted with many 1930s homes and apartments, the Docker Street development is appealing to the discerning end of the market such as those in the penthouse market looking for fine architectural detailing.

The six apartments, two on each level of the three-storey building and each one approximately 175 square metres sit comfortably in the predominantly concrete facade and a basement car park. Like the many surrounding 1930s homes and apartments, the Adela Apartments, with interiors by Hecker Guthrie, have a presence from the street. With profiled concrete balconies, black chrome stainless steel wrapped columns and operable aluminium louvres on the east and west elevations to diffuse the afternoon sunlight and create privacy for main bedrooms, this development creates an ‘architectural dialogue’ with other period buildings in the street.

With an average 8-star-Nathers energy rating and up to 8.6, achieved with passive thermal design practices such as deep eaves, cross ventilation, thermally broken double glazing and good thermal mass (exposed concrete ceilings), for maintaining a constant internal temperature in both hot and cold conditions. These apartments are not only highly sustainable but designed as the ‘forever’ home. Special care can be seen in their planning, with the two upper levels benefiting from roof gardens. Each apartment also avoids the problem of wasted corridor space and the two bedrooms, including the main, are located on either end of the floor plan, maintaining privacy. A third room, adjacent to the open plan kitchen and dining area, was also provided. Framed by glass doors lined with a curtain, it can be used as a study/home office, a second living area, or an additional bedroom.

Generous wall space to display large paintings, built-in customised joinery to conceal items such as televisions and audio equipment, together with terrazzo and marble finishes in the two bathrooms and kitchen, create a beautifully appointed home. And rather than the floor plan being ‘rigid’, it can easily ‘morph’ into spaces that perfectly suit a number of resident types. As with the area’s many fine period buildings, this new addition fits thoughtfully into this leafy low-level streetscape.

Photography: Derek Swalwell

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Adela Apartments
Adela Apartments
Adela Apartments
Adela Apartments
Adela Apartments
Adela Apartments
Adela Apartments
Adela Apartments
Adela Apartments
Adela Apartments
Adela Apartments

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Adela Apartments

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Professional

Jost Architects was established in 2008 by Patrick Jost. With an enthusiastic approach at the beginning of the global financial crisis of that same year, and navigating the way through this challenging period it enabled the practice to move into the better years ahead. In the early days like many other practices, was based out the back of his house but it was only a year later that an office in St Kilda East opened, giving the practice a genuine identity and later moving further up the road to St Kilda.

From the inauguration of the practice, irrespective of the scale of a project, Jost Architects understand the importance not only of getting the design right but the essential requirement for exacting documentation for each individual project. The buildability of a project, the site and its constraints, are considered during this process. Costing and value management methods are also used at particular stages of the project to ensure the desired financial outcome.

While Jost and his team are perfectly adept at hand drawing, today everything produced from the office is through 3D modelling and presentation software from start to finish, assisting both clients and builders. The practice continues to renovate and extend period homes, design new homes, as well as work on larger projects such as apartment developments, cafes, office fit-outs and warehouses. It’s the process, as much as the diversity of the projects that continues to stimulate and enthuse the office.

At Jost Architects there isn’t a ‘practice style’ as treating each project as unique, the site, client’s functional requirements and preferred aesthetics results in distinct project styles. The practice produces strong contemporary designs that respond to brief, budget and location, along with the setting in which it’s found. The need to produce sustainable outcomes, irrespective of the scale of a project is a core value of Jost Architects, a focus since the practice was first established. Starting with the adoption of the basic principles of thermal passive design, sustainable systems are integrated within the building fabric to become unnoticed aesthetically. This results in projects which are comfortable to live in, economical to operate and of high-quality contemporary architecture.

At ArchiPro we recognise and acknowledge the existing, original and ancient connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have to the lands and waterways across the Australian continent. We pay our respects to the elders past and present. We commit to working together to build a prosperous and inclusive Australia.