Michael Allen

Precision in Design: The Artistry of Volley Brooklyn’s Architecture

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From the outset the design intention was to create a unique, curated and subtle development, one which acknowledges its site, immediate and broad environment as well as the future occupant.The site is very linear in nature and spans the full urban block between Justice Mohammed Street and Marais Street. Both street-scapes are very different in nature and the development responds and acknowledges both individually.

The development is divided into two separate residential blocks with a large central lawn and its well-established trees spanning between the two. The top residential block is placed more than 25 meters off Marais Street and is reduced in scale to 2 floors so as to acknowledge the very quiet suburban Marais Street whereas the bottom block off the busier Justice Mohammad Street is larger in scale at 3 floors and more densely populated again responding to its immediate environment.

Majority of the occupants in the residential block off Justice Mohammed Street have a direct link through the unit’s patios on to the large communal lawn and its tree canopies. The block is also stepped well off the street with gardens and newly planted trees placed between the street and building thereby adding privacy and reducing noise.

The development is low in scale in respect to its ERF size, this gives rise to the potential of having a potentially closely linked and strong community where occupants can have access to a large communal space as well as large private garden spaces. Due to the large size of the site almost all ground floor units have their own personal garden thereby allowing the occupant to experience the sites established landscape within the privacy of their own unit. The development also provides multiple public amenities that benefit the occupant. A café, colab/study space, outside entertainment area with communal braais and an outdoor gym are all provided for and are directly linked to the large central communal lawn.

The building’s exterior material pallet as well as the landscape were designed in such a way that it again acknowledges the site’s rare qualities being space and well established vegetation. The development managed to retain majority of the existing trees with its infrastructure is placed to acknowledge and respect them.

The building makes use of two main accent materials besides the pre-existing established vegetation these being Masonry brickwork and timber. The flush jointed brick work is painted white to soften an often hard perceived surface with the aim to enhance the tranquil atmosphere that exists on the site. The timber feature walls and screens also soften the building’s facade within its landscape as well as reduce external noise and tie in with the existing landscape colour pallet.

The rare qualities and beauty that exist on the site make it an extremely unique development within a suburban area quite closely situated to a densely populated portion of Pretoria. The potential for a close community living within a tranquil established landscape in a fast developing area is extremely rare and exciting.

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