Balencea

Victoria

Referencing a collection of iconic buildings on the leafy south side of Melbourne, Balencea makes an architectural statement that gives prominence to its corner location. Its highly sculptural form, rising 23 storeys and housing 84 apartments of various sizes and configurations over a pool, gym, restaurant and terrace, has been composed by a series of interlocking arcs developed into a fluted extrusion. This design language is primarily derived from the exploration of repetition, surface, extrusion, and the way in which buildings, when seen in perspective, can both conceal and reveal themselves. To this end, no entire elevation can be viewed at once, an intriguing condition that reinforces the notion of viewing sculptural form in-the-round.

In plan, the building curls away from the site’s corners to create unexpectedly slender elevations to the east and west. The concavity of the external architectural vocabulary, coupled with the use of a reflective glazed ‘curtain’ wall, creates a complex surface and level of reflectivity, and balconies are recessed into the body of the building to enhance its continuous form. Arcs on the northern elevation are contrasted with larger, convex radii on the southern, which also repeats the silver/black glass and features charcoal horizontal and vertical overlaid panels, which read like a large waffle wrapping over the form.

  • Australian Institute of Architects - Balencea
  • Australian Institute of Architects - Balencea

Balencea

An iconographic statement and study in ambiguity on a highly visible city site