Apartments By The River (ABTR) is a proposed concept design that seels to retain existing employment land use while at the same time create housing in a setting surrounded by bushland and by a river. Apartments of different mix will be spread out in two towers of 14-storey on the north and 21-storey on the south, as well as some units that will be located in two low-rise streetwall blocks of 4-storey high.
The proposed design aspires to not only provide a visual and physical connection to the river, but also helps to bring residents, workers and people from the streets closer to the bush and the river beyond. This is achieved with the ground level plaza and central courtyard which is physically linked on the east side by a proposed pedestrian bridge that is connected with the existing footpath and bicycle path along the main road. People would then be able to access an open courtyard plaza via lifts located in a 3-storey atrium next to the porte-cochère, which is the drop-off point and main entrance of the building.
The plaza would be activated with a frontage of a variety of commercial spaces, including retail shops, cafés and restaurants. The open plaza provides light and ventilation to the commercial space surrounding the courtyard. It is not only a space for commercial activities, but also a place of social interaction for people working at the offices located at the podium levels and those living at the apartments above. It also serves as a place of relaxation as it provides opportunity for people to enjoy alfresco dining and a chance to recharge by connecting with nature. A large deck is located at the western end of the plaza that has a staircase descending to existing bushland. A boardwalk surrounding the building that either replaces or connects with existing bushwalk trails is also proposed. The close encounter with the site’s natural surroundings is further enhanced by the creation of a unique elevated canopy walkway with existing trees that extends from the plaza viewing deck. The canopy walk that gradually slopes downward will lead people through thick foliage before it opens up to another large deck at the foreshore of the river. This can potentially be a spot that serves to not only enable people the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of nature, but also to retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban living.