Nestled in the heart of Northcote in Melbourne stands The General, a unique multi-residential project by architecture practice C.Kairouz Architects.
Aiming to push the design boundaries as far as they go, The General is the first residential building in Australia to use Onyx Solar photovoltaic glass on a facade, blending high-quality and sustainable architecture. Acting as both a balustrade and power source on the building’s north-facing exterior, The General boasts a 7.5-star NatHERS energy rating.
With 10 per cent degree of transparency, the glass allows the ingress of daylight, while also offering significant thermal protection. The firm worked in conjunction with engineers to ensure that the energy produced by the glass offset the cost of light, power and mechanical equipment in common areas.
The development’s nickname was chosen in remembrance of C.Kairouz Architects Director Chahid Kairouz’s late father. Built at the former site of the family’s butcher business, the project honours his journey as a migrant to successful Australian business owner.
“On the building’s east-facing exterior, a curved glass facade features a reference to my father, with a subtle image of a General on a horse across all panels. This patterned glass is also able to be illuminated into a beacon-like effect,” said Kairouz.
Offering one, two and three-bedroom apartments, the interiors are characterised by a carefully curated palette of tones, while finishes exhibit luxury with oak floors, timber veneer cabinetry and stone benchtops. Unusual in multi-residential setting, The General also includes gas fireplaces in 14 apartments, adding a level of sophistication and opulence to the spaces.
Sustainability held a strong focus for Kairouz throughout the project. Green spaces provide a point of interest and enhance the building’s 7.5-star energy rating with a rooftop terrace, a green wall in the entrance, and planter boxes on each apartment balcony as well. A 25,000-litre rainwater tank was also positioned on the site, designed to catch water from the rooftops and then used to flush up to 50 toilets.
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