Caulfield North VIC Australia

Cantala is an inner suburban residential development which combines an art deco feel mixed with contemporary elements. The internal and external spaces flow within an integrated landscape design. The masonry facades, dark window frames and timber detailing complement the generous garden courtyards and terraces.
In total 25 townhouses and 44 apartments were established across the site with a combination of 2 and 3 storey townhouses, and a 3 storey apartment block. In total, 8 building blocks exist on the site creating a highly permeable and gardenesque setting. Residents can meander through all parts of the site with a vegetated front and rear garden defining their home.

Architecturally the two building typologies are clearly identifiable. The townhouses exist as a series of rectilinear brick and metal clad envelopes, whereas the apartment block has its own character and identity. Taking cues from the art deco buildings within the area, the apartment block is expressed through more curvaceous forms that are a playful reinterpretation of the subtle art deco curves.

The resulting form is atypical for an apartment building, existing as strikingly ambiguous, sculptural gesture. Its folding and ‘concertina-ed’ form means residents also get oblique views back across to the townhouse rather than perpendicular, direct views towards neighbours.

In line with the brief, the same interior design principles have been applied across both the townhouses and apartments.

Entering the apartment lobby, large travertine tiles on the floor bring luxury while the curved form of the building’s exterior design has been strikingly referenced in the banquette seating. Recessed in the curved wall in polished concrete tones, the banquette is upholstered in a rich tan leather connecting with colours used for the exterior façade treatment.

The key design difference being that the townhouses offer larger spaces and introduce a more luxurious level of finishes. Two different colour schemes were created; including a fresh and clean light scheme and a sophisticated darker palette, both offering a neutral and elegant canvas for residents to add their own personality and style.

In the apartments, we have freestanding benches that are more transparent. At 900mm-high, they act as a table for people to sit at with stools while also offering additional flexible bench space. The benches evolve to become a long, solid island in our townhouses, with double sinks, integrated dishwashers, storage and display shelves – a place where family and friends will naturally gravitate towards.

Connection to indoor and outdoor spaces provides for flexible living and entertaining – as you’d expect to see in an established family home. While the apartments express similar ideas, a lighter touch is evident where living and entertaining areas are more condensed. 


Icon Co

2018 Urban Development Institute of Australia National Award for Excellence Medium Density Development, Winner

2017 Melbourne Design Awards, Gold Winner, Architecture, Residential Constructed, Winner

2017 Victorian UDIA Awards for Excellence, Medium Density Development, Winner

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