Rather than blank walls fronting a laneway, Kennedy Nolan included a number of apertures in the red-brick walls to create a more dynamic and individual signature for all the dwellings.
“It’s quite an abstract design, with each frontage having its own identity, but still responding to the feel of the surrounding warehouses,” says Nolan, pointing out some of the bespoke detailing, such as an oriel-style window that is included in one of the bedrooms.
The Lothian includes four row-style townhouses, spread across four levels (individual lifts are included), two apartments and what Kennedy refers to as two tower houses, square in format and also across four levels.
As well as the different configurations, the spaces follow more of a house, rather than an apartment model.
The townhouses, for example, are three-bedrooms plus a study and are up to 320 square metres in area, while the two-level apartments are approximately 160 square metres.
Given the number of levels in the townhouses, in spite of a lift, the architects located the kitchen and living areas on the third level, located between the main bedroom suite on the top level and two further bedrooms below.
“We wanted to ensure the living areas received as much natural light as possible, but we were also mindful of how people would use these spaces. You don’t want to be continually climbing stairs to reach the main living area,” says Kennedy.
The interiors of The Lothian are also not what one normally expects in multi-residential developments.
Here, the walls are solid and rendered in a moody grey palette, with slate floors in the kitchen and living areas.
The kitchens are also fairly sombre in tone, with dark laminate joinery simply punctuated by a terrazzo island bench that extends at one end for more informal dining.
Unlike other developments that are normally set back from the pavement, the building covers the entire site, with individual rooftop gardens accessed from the main bedrooms in the townhouses or the double-storey apartments.
Kennedy Nolan also dispensed with the usual amenities such as a gymnasium or communal lounge areas.
“We had the owner-occupier in our minds when we were designing this project. We also spent considerable time in the office as a group questioning what makes a great place to live, rather than simply considering how many apartments we could get on this relatively small site,” says Kennedy, who was delighted that the developers were also thinking along these lines.
Not surprisingly, all the dwellings sold in a relative short spate of time to owner occupiers looking for a strong point of difference rather than just another generic apartment.