A Unique Apartment Building With Large Porthole Windows

There are some big differences between a house and an apartment. Each has its own special characteristics and the layouts are usually different in each case. Houses are also usually better connected to their surroundings and have better views. With the Cinqua Apartments, BKK Architects tried and successfully managed to create a hybrid project. It’s an apartment building which looks and feels a lot like a collection of individual homes put together on the same lot.

This apartment building is unlike any of its neighbors or other structure of this kindView in gallery
This apartment building is unlike any of its neighbors or other structure of this kind
The most notable element is the design of the facade which divides the building into several distinct volumesView in gallery
The most notable element is the design of the facade which divides the building into several distinct volumes
The design of the building is very sculptural and very bold and that turns it into a landmarkView in gallery
The design of the building is very sculptural and very bold and that turns it into a landmark

This new and rather curious-looking apartment building is situated in suburban Melbourne, in an established residential neighborhood populated with art-decor homes. The design of the building is a contemporary reinterpretation of the local housing types, the idea behind it being to integrate single-home dwellings into a collective and to create a cozy group of apartments with a clear identity and a lot of personality.

Each apartment features these large porthole windows that create a rather curious patternView in gallery
Each apartment features these large porthole windows that create a rather curious pattern
At the back, the building has its own little courtyard which makes it feel like a country houseView in gallery
At the back, the building has its own little courtyard which makes it feel like a country house

The project was completed in 2017 and the whole structure measures 5800 square meters in total. The building sits on a steep slope which allows a big portion of it to sit below the light of sight and to be hidden from the road. The palette of materials used throughout includes weathered bricks, metal and wood as well as a lot of glass.

The balconies are open and they frame the porthole windows, linking the interior spaces to their surroundingsView in gallery
The balconies are open and they frame the porthole windows, linking the interior spaces to their surroundings
The circular shape of the windows sets a theme and is mimicked by the doorknobs and light fixturesView in gallery
The circular shape of the windows sets a theme and is mimicked by the doorknobs and light fixtures
The geometric theme is reiterated throughout the building in various different forms View in gallery
The geometric theme is reiterated throughout the building in various different forms

The street facade of the building is structured into blocks and six large porthole windows punctuate its surface. These windows are a defining characteristic of the design, their role being an aesthetic one but also one aimed at connecting the apartments to their surroundings and letting the natural light inside.

The steep sloped site allows the building to capture some interesting views which are framed by the windowsView in gallery
The steep sloped site allows the building to capture some interesting views which are framed by the windows
Numerous different configurations are possible in each apartment thanks to the open and flexible layoutView in gallery
Numerous different configurations are possible in each apartment thanks to the open and flexible layout

The porthole windows establish a theme which is continued inside the building in the form of circular light fixtures, door handles, tiles and various other elements which, together, ensure a cohesive and well-balanced decor that gives the otherwise minimalist approach an opportunity to be eye-catching and to stand out.

The interior design is minimalist and modern, in accordance with the architecture of the building View in gallery
The interior design is minimalist and modern, in accordance with the architecture of the building
The large windows let in an abundance of natural light and also bring the outdoors inView in gallery
The large windows let in an abundance of natural light and also bring the outdoors in
The tiles on the bathroom walls and the mirrors mimic the theme set by the porthole windowsView in gallery
The tiles on the bathroom walls and the mirrors mimic the theme set by the porthole windows