As an exercise in place-making and setting new standards for residential amenity, The Avenue stands tall in Darwin’s housing market, both literally and figuratively. The Spirit building is stage two of a planned three-stage development by Osborne Family Holdings, the concept for which has been evolving for over fifteen years. Stage one was the purely residential Hastings Over Mindil, and stage three will be Soul, the twin to Spirit’s fluid, gentle form.
Of course, designing structures and specifying products that can withstand the harsh environmental conditions of the Darwin climate is essential to the success of any project in the Territory. Mark Bell of Bell Gabbert Associates, the designers of Spirit on The Avenue and the development overall, explains that the fundamental design of the building plan must be the first step in managing the implications of the harsh and unforgiving climate. As such, while the original brief called for a building that was largely rectangular in plan, Mark counter-proposed the fluid, curving floor plans with deep balconies that were ultimately adopted across the design of all of the towers. In his concept, the balcony edges effectively act as ‘solar screens’, keeping direct sunlight off the thermal mass of the building core.
The paint and coatings required for the exterior had to be able to stand up to full exposure to sun and rain, finished with a solid warranty of a reasonable period, to minimise the ongoing maintenance cost for residents. Making the wrong choice of paint and colour could lead to blistering, fading, cracking and peeling, or even the rampant growth of mould. The builder, Sunbuild chose Taubmans Armawall™ for this application, and Taubmans was proactive in ensuring that all aspects of installation met with their high standards. This was essential as the right paint is of little help if the substrate or painting surface has not been prepared properly. With the technology built into the paint, and a range of textured finishes achieved, the external finish of the building was delivered with a warranty exceeding ten years, which is an achievement for tropical applications.
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