The image of a bowerbird, feathering its own nest, is often used to describe the proud homeowner of the detached house in the suburbs. However, as the concept of home has ‘morphed’ to include apartment living, one’s nest is composed of a variety of ‘twigs’. Bowerbird, the concept of k20 Architecture, will provide a new nest for those looking for a new home in Ormond. A stone’s throw from North Road, its strip shopping centre and train station, Bowerbird will sit comfortably between a house, townhouse and a spacious apartment.
k20 Architecture were mindful of the generic apartments dotted around Melbourne and its suburbs and took the path of responding to the needs of the local community, as much as the many streets lined with Californian bungalows from the 1920s and ‘30s. The deep terraces of Bowerbird, with their operable timber-battened screens, will loosely reference these bungalows, with their deep and protective porches. However, unlike the bungalows, air will move freely through the front windows via large sliding glass doors. A lantern-style roof, with highlight celestial windows will purge warmer air for those living on the top floor.
Conceived as 24 two and three-bedroom apartments, varying in area from 130 to approximately 150 square metres, Bowerbird will allow people to go vertically or horizontally within the building should they prefer the option of a townhouse arrangement, rather than an apartment. The timber-battened operable screens, a feature of the first and second-floor apartments, will not only animate the building, but create a ‘veil’ for both light and privacy. Even when these screens are closed, there’s a diffused dappled light entering kitchens and living areas.
The idea of knitting twigs together by a bowerbird is also reinterpreted at the entrance to the apartments. The alcove, leading to a three-level glazed void, will be literally ‘yarn bombed’ (think of the crocheted tree trunks) by local knitting groups to create that sense of home. As with the bowerbird, residents will also appreciate customising their own nests, choosing materials or even rearranging spaces to suit their own particular needs.