- Architects: SJB
- Location: Caulfield North VIC 3161, Australia
- Lead Architect: Tristan Wong: SJB
- Area: 7000.0 m2
- Project Year: 2016
- Photographs: Aaron Puls
From the architect. An angular timber form appears to float at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in Caulfield. Set amid a mix of period and contemporary residences, this elegant, sculptural element is the first of many slow reveals offered up by the recently completed SJB residential project, Cantala.
A residential development is revealed comprising 25 multi-storey townhouses and a block of 44 low-rise apartments. At Cantala, SJB has struck a beautiful balance between the best of contemporary place-making and the sought-after aesthetics of leafy Melbourne suburbia.
One of Cantala’s most impressive slow reveals is the fact the entire development is walkable. By freeing up ground level space usually given to vehicles, SJB could focus more on creating places for people. This decision enabled the introduction of a series of connected paths and courtyards within the site.
Taking subtle cues from the art deco buildings found along nearby Dandenong Road, Cantala’s apartment building facade is all about maximising visual appeal and minimising visual impact.
Cantala’s neighbourhood vibe is emphasised by the fact that many townhouse residents take their address from these internal streets. Public thoroughfares running along one edge of the site and leading through to the Dandenong Road trams has been used as a kind of internal convergence point for both apartment and townhouse residents.
Complementing its naturally light exterior, the apartment building’s lobby features a triple-height glazed entry that draws residents into the building, acting as a welcoming lantern at night. Not just a dramatic entrance, it brings indoors Cantala’s focus on health and wellbeing by encouraging residents to use the stairs rather than the lift.
Cantala questions the typology of living and challenges the notion of public versus private. It also challenges the notion of what a building or an apartment building or townhouse should look like.