St Leonards Apartments


St Leonards Apartments

Design Submission

Capital Z + Otway Partners

174 apartments,
680 m2 retail +
3,255m2 commercial

6-16 Atchison Street,
St. Leonards, NSW Australia


Principal in Charge:
Richard Huxley

Design Principal:
Richard Huxley

Project Team:
Richard Huxley
Kevin Ngundu
Daniel Kanjagua
Richard Wilkinson
Kim Nguyen Ngoc
Sejin Cheon


As part of a client’s bid to secure a major high rise apartment site in St.Leonard’s on Sydney’s north shore we prepared a new tower concept in this competition process. The site had been approved via the former State Government’s Part 3a process and the original design was not a commercial outcome suitable for marketing and construction. Our scheme proposed a more simple, buildable and striking architectural façade, a new linear core with external stainless steel stairs to provide more GFA to apartments, a more simplified public domain and a through site link that encouraged access to Atchinson Lane. Our scheme increased the efficiency of the carpark on the typical basement level, simplified carpark entry/access and loading dock and reduced the depth of basement excavation. Our scheme increased the area of retail and office space and provided commercial strata suites that were sized for what the market-place. Importantly we bought a rigour not present in the original DA approved scheme for the residential floor plates, internal apartment efficiency and layouts. Our client’s bid was second in a public process due to the financial offer put forward however the design scheme we conceived was exceptional.

The site is located in the commercial centre of St.Leonards within easy walking distance to the train station and just off the Pacific Highway on Sydney’s lower North Shore. We were approached by a client to review an existing Part 3A approved scheme and redesign the project using those constraints to turn the project into a viable and profitable apartment development. Our design implemented a new residentially driven structural grid and we replanned all floor plates with new apartment designs. We simplified and minimised the core area by devising an elegant “inline” core arrangement releasing 15% more net saleable floor space on every level of the tower. We changed the usage and modified the appearance of the podium. We increased the retail areas on the lower ground and ground floor. We made the entries and exits from the major and minor streets clearer and more direct and created a thru-site link that people would naturally use. We changed the location of the loading dock to be at lower ground level and improved the efficiency of the basement car park increasing the number car spaces provided on each level. We simplified and enhanced the façade, finding a totally new architectural expression for the building within the conceptual planning diagram of the previous design. We maintained the spirit and intention of the previous idea but evolved and transcended it in an artistic and functional way so to create a building that was both radically different but genetically connected.

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