401 St Kilda Road
- Elenberg Fraser
- 401 St Kilda Road, 3004 Melbourne
It’s the classic empty nester conundrum. Your kids have left home, you’re left roaming the vacant rooms of a four bedroom house in Kew all the while thinking how nice it would be, now you’ve got all that extra time on your hands, if you could be a bit closer to the action and not have to live in a shoebox.
Well, you can! The 15 apartments at 401 St Kilda Road don’t skimp on space – they are contemporary luxury – houses within apartments literally spitting distance from the cafes and restaurants of the CBD, South Yarra and South Melbourne.
Situated on the axis of the Shrine, we needed observe strict height limitations to not obstruct the view.
Drawing from the modernist oeuvre such as John Lautner’s Arango House in Acapulco, 401 St Kilda Road is the junction of landscape and architecture. Starting from the bottom, the lower levels are clad in green tiles, reminiscent of Robert Haddon’s decoration found on commercial buildings such as the Napier Hotel in Fitzroy.
Moving up, the living is sandwiched in between the splines of the middle level’s façade, which wobble together in a Bezier curve and merge with the planters that tumble down and stretch up from each balcony, forming a canopy of life outside each apartment. The balconies are telescopic, which means the planters receive adequate sunlight and also drip rainfall onto the levels below. The upper levels are a timber cocoon, appearing as a separate building rising behind the lower levels.
All apartments feature three bedrooms, study, laundry, double ensuites, powder room, presentation kitchen and ‘chef’s kitchen’. Living is contained within the gallery area, the 10m x 15m great room as well as a 50sqm outdoor terrace. We weren’t kidding when we said residents didn’t lose out on space, right? Materials are tactile and sumptuous – floors come in a choice of parquetry or basalt (that we reopened an Indian quarry to attain). The bathroom windows are double-glazed; the shower juts out into the landscape, a shower in the garden that prevents prying eyes! Leave the tea-tree screens of the terrace open and thanks to the morphing façade you get views up and down St Kilda Road.
The lobby is a classical theatrical space. Togas wrap around walls creating screens that peel apart to expose lift entries. The bronze toned space is a box of infinite reflection with high gloss floors and mirror walls, a solitary neon light art installation creates a focal point. This is contemporary classicism.
We don’t do things by halves – at 401 St Kilda Road you can have your house and garden and live in it too. Don’t give up the connection to the landscape that a house in the suburbs affords – curb urban sprawl and head inward to experience the new paradigm of luxury living.