Walan (2 Scott Street)
Walan is designed for subtropical Brisbane with a series of single floor homes stacked to form a high rise structure that takes a prominent place in the city and riverscape. The development is embedded in the Kangaroo Point peninsula with the fabric and design of the building intrinsically connected to its natural and built environment. The wending river, narrow cape and rock formations made it a popular fishing location for Aboriginal people. This, combined with its proximity to the center of Brisbane, has embedded the peninsula in the contemporary history of the city. A connection to land is distinct in the fabric of the design with the form and motif drawn directly from the rock and cliff faces of Kangaroo Point.
The homes on each floor are open to their aspect and protected by screens that provide privacy and shade. The screens are a striking derivation of the louvres of the traditional Queenslander articulated and coloured to form an organic fabric that creates an ambiguous sculptural presence on the peninsula.
The planning and layout of the apartments is directly inspired by the values of the traditional Queensland house. The screens to three sides provide a protected shaded verandah and whilst the articulation and pattern is specific to the building. This generates a sense of familiarity with the Australian landscape and lifestyle. All occupants have maximum access to external frontage allowing filtered light and breezes to pass through the floor plate assisting a reduction on reliance upon forced conditioning of the apartment’s air volume.
Embedded into the very fabric of the design is the natural motif of the cliff face of Kangaroo Point. The form and colours of the almost sheer façade creation allows it to blend into and complement this landscape. In using this, Walan embodies the spirit and natural shape of the land in its design, in contrast to the bustle of Kangaroo Point.
The connection to place is multi layered as the high rise form folds to preserve and promote the Elina Mottram designed flats as an illustration of living on the peninsula in the early 20th century. These culturally significant Heritage flats were designed by Queensland’s first registered female architect, Elina Mottram. The original apartment building as well as some of the original fauna is retained in common ownership and houses facilities for all of the building occupiers to use. The new building respectfully steps back at its lower levels to ensure there is still a clear connection between the original house and its adjacent streetscape.