Winner of the 2019 – AIA WA Chapter Awards: The Harold Krantz Award for Multiple Housing

Stage 1 of CIRQUE is the first major project to be completed within the aspirational Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan (CBACP) and also the first accredited 5 Star GreenStar Multi-residential Project in Western Australia.

Project Name -Cirque
Studio Name -MJA Studio
Completion date– 2
Location– Mount Pleasant, Western Australia, Australia
Photography– Dion Robeson

Cirque by MJA Studio - Sheet3
©Dion Robeson

The CBACP encourages significant increases in residential and commercial density over the next generation in a locality originally considered for the Perth CBD many years ago. Integral to the CBACP and its desire for quality outcomes is an incentive based planning policy that rewards design, amenity, environment and community. Our intention was to provide a positive benchmark for future development which understands and responds to its transitionary context.

Starting with a simple allowable built envelope MJA developed 65 different massing studies to evaluate the effects of the two towers on the surrounding low density neighbours, the effect on each other and also the potential effects of adjacent neighbours developing their sites to high density. The adopted massing has a unique butterfly or bow-tie shape which allows the footprints to work together in perspective to reduce their perception of bulk, minimises cross-views between apartments, maximises apartments in positions which can’t be compromised by adjacent development whilst creating view corridors for centrally located apartments and importantly reduces overshadowing of neighbours by 10% when compared to the allowable built envelope.

Cirque by MJA Studio - Sheet5
©Dion Robeson

The built form is defined by a sculptural expressed podium which creates an engaging streetscape datum which adjacent future development can plug into. Above this an extensive communal landscaped deck separates the podium and residential tower which is defined by its filleted corners, pleated balustrades and curved glass windscreens.

A series of tangible community benefits fill the ground plane which as the precinct develops over a generation will interlink with neighbours and establish a unique urban environment for Perth. The development of CIRQUE will create a pedestrian lane between Kishorn and Ogilvie roads cutting journey distance by 2/3rds, this lane which is open all hours is the location for a major interactive light art installation by James Tapscott and provides access to public end of trip and parking facilities in stage 2. At ground level in stage 1 a civic standard landscaped verge leads to a publically accessible business lounge and a community art tenancy which has been ceded to the City of Melville and will be curated by the not-for profit group FORM with a series of workshops and events based on needs assessments carried out with the local community.

Cirque by MJA Studio - Sheet6
©Dion Robeson

The project was procured as a DnC with pre DA early contractor involvement by JAXON. With a full suite of consultants on board early in the process, intensive collaboration was required to maintain the design intent that achieved the planning discretion and to meet strict GreenStar obligations. During the 24 month construction period extensive involvement by allied disciplines was required to ensure reticulation of services through post-tensioned slabs could keep up with the 10 day floor cycles of the tower.

The successful delivery of this project demonstrates the value of incentive based planning policy to our built environment.


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