Scott Carver’s lead design architect, Hon Diec, points to the many visual design devices used to create the charisma of the place, “We ensured that each side of each city block addressed the scale and setting of the streets they addressed. Moreover, we made sure we didn’t repeat the style of any of the buildings. Now that it’s possible to walk the many streets of the town centre it is hard to imagine that one firm designed it all.” Hon chalks this achievement up as an important cultural milestone for his firm, “This is a big breakthrough for us all at Scott Carver, rather than pushing a style as our brand, we have collaborated to generate an authentic diversity, tuned to the place itself.”
Saul Moran, design architect at Scott Carver for the earlier stages of Wentworth Point Marinas, now Development Manager for Billbergia, has evolved from designer to client in the life of the project. Saul says, “While every building is of high quality, the more powerful feeling now is in the nature of the streets”. Conscious throughout that Billbergia and Scott Carver have been designing a little city rather than a suburb, he says, “We knew we were compressing the streets to create energy. On the edges of the town centre we created relaxed, landscaped setbacks but in the core we have placed elegant, larger buildings on their boundaries with the library & community centre, pocket parks, cafes and restaurants activating the core from their edges and generating a sense of importance about the place.”
The interplay of towers and lower buildings generates contrast and excitement. Towers forms are interesting on their own when viewed from afar and when viewed objectively from the adjacent street. However, it is their participation with the whole mix of architectural effects at lower levels that cements their importance in the townscape. The scale of all of the buildings has been tuned to viewpoints from footpaths such that rounded modern towers act as background elements, contrasting with the visually busier lower buildings and landscaping. Nowhere do taller buildings feel overbearing.
Design devices used by Scott Carver include a careful mix of landscaping in the public domain as well as a diverse range of courtyards in the core of each block. Along the streets, the pedestrian experience was prioritised. Plants in private courtyards have been located to hang over the footpaths and combine their effect with street trees and landscaped edges.
An overriding design challenge was the manufacturing of diversity in facades even though the apartments behind might be similar. Rather than unifying the projects into one overall aesthetic, the illusion of separate buildings of smaller a scale was used to calibrate the journey along streets.