“Proximity” Apartments


"Proximity" Apartments

DA Approved

Hua Sheng Property Group

Bureau was engaged to redesign an apartment project with the aim of increasing revenue and decreasing cost

Cnr Newton Road and Karinya Street, Blacktown


Principal in Charge:
Richard Huxley

Design Principal:
Richard Huxley

Project Team Leader:
Richard Wilkinson

Project Team:
Richard Huxley
Richard Wilkinson
James Farquharson
Gisela Anaya
Carla Collavino
Jesus del Toro


Bureau of Urban Architecture (Bureau) was approached by the Client and the Project Marketing Team to design a 6 level building with between 80 and 90 apartments that afforded great value to prospective buyers and residents. The site is circa 3,000 m2 is area and is located on the corner of Newton Road and Karinya Street, Blacktown NSW and is within an easy walking distance of Blacktown Station and Shopping Centre. The convenience of the site’s location for future resident’s to access local amenities gave rise to the building’s name being “Proximity”. Our ambition for “Proximity” was to create a highly considered low rise apartment building that was affordable, luxurious and sustainable and to deliver high quality urban design and architecture that connected to the spirit of place.

We have been very mindful to create a very large deep soil zone that coincides with the 9m front setback to allow large tree planting to the Newton Road street frontage. This tree planting compliments urban design principles for the future of Newton Road, a major arterial road connection to the Blacktown shopping precinct, to be recreated as a tree lined boulevard. This project creates a precedent for the area allowing future developments to follow suit to create a green corridor and improve the urban context.

We adopted a “H” shaped floor plan with a central entry on the ground floor leading residents directly to the northern garden area and then to 2 residential lift cores servicing apartments on either side of the building. The ground floor is designed with generous landscaped courtyards with light coloured stone faced walls which benefit from additional individual access via the street or the perimeter landscaped pathway.

One of the key architectural design features of the building is the continuous balcony element that wraps around each level of the building. This feature is combined with a maximum usage of floor to ceiling glazing to ensure the building looks and feels light and open from both internal and external perspectives. To amplify this quality of lightness and openness we have designed frameless glazed balustrading to run around the continuous balcony element.

We have designed feature walls running up all levels either side of the building’s entrance and the northern garden to give a sense of generosity and significance to the resident’s experience of entering and exiting the building. Above the ground floor central entry the design makes way for “through apartments” in the building’s centre providing the benefits of both northern light and through ventilation. The remainder of the design benefits from the “H” shaped floor plan providing numerous corner/dual aspect apartments and east/west single orientation apartments.  Bureau has designed the building to minimise common corridors and to achieve floor plan efficiency at every opportunity in order to deliver the maximum amount of area into the apartments.

The interiors have been designed to be simple, practical and usable. We have added additional storage, study areas and multi-purpose rooms to apartments to increase their usefulness. In look and feel terms we have chosen a light colour palette of beiges and cremes combined with light coloured timber and white cabinetry. We have chosen light coloured large format tiles in wet areas and light timber “look” tiling in staggered patterns to living areas and light beige carpet to bedroom areas.

We have taken full advantage of the building’s roof area to create a large communal open space that is accessed by both lift and stair cores.  In order to create a human scale on the roof and provide all weather access we have designed a long verandah on the roof that also provides a practical covering to the BBQ area. Working closely with the landscape architects we have designed a multi-use and multi-generational space including planting, BBQ areas, seating and sun-baking areas, active areas and communal garden areas.

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