From the outset of this project, Collins Pennington recognised that a new apartment complex would be an important “gateway” building on Canberra Avenue, which connects Parliament House to Manuka and Griffith. With this in mind, the design team negotiated to have local planning rules amended to raise the four-storey height restrictions by a couple of levels at the site’s most crucial edge.
The 30-apartment Dominion Residences apartment complex presides on a corner, demarking a nexus between single-level residential and substantial government and commercial buildings. This change in height is elegantly apparent, adding a sense of crescendo and importance, fitting for its South Canberra location.
With apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms, the architectural quest to optimise the site’s opportunities resulted in a highly variable structure that appears to present as three distinct and materially refined buildings. This means few apartments are replicated, yet all enjoy individual outlook, large balconies – sometimes multiple terraces – and access to private outdoor green spaces that is a significant bonus in a multi-residential building.
The Dominion Residences work for the occupants, contributes significantly to the urban and civic context, and presents the case for prioritising an excellent outcome over dollar-driven motives.