Off-Form Concrete Leaves its Unique Style on Bellevue Hill Apartment

The sculptural qualities of off-form concrete have delivered a unique façade on a boutique apartment complex in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

The complex in Old South Head Road Bellevue Hill has been cleverly designed to afford maximum privacy to each of the 13 apartments by minimising the number of common walls.

The rear of the building presents as two off-form concrete wings separated by a garden courtyard. The walls facing into the garden feature triangular bay windows, staggered and vertically offset between each floor so as to allow natural light to enter the apartments without compromising the owners’ privacy.

The lack of vertical structure to the cantilevered balconies, which are open on three sides, ensures these generously proportioned ‘outdoor rooms’ receive plenty of winter sunlight.

The wing walls, projecting bay windows, balcony walls and soffits are all off-form concrete with a class 3 finish. As a result, the formwork joins, set-out lines and rust marks are all clearly and deliberately evident in the finish.

Says architect Christian Glyde of Glyde Bautovich: “It gives the material a human quality. You can relate to it because you can see how someone’s made it.” 

Glyde also loves that the ‘instantaneous character’ created in the façade will evolve over time as the material weathers. And from a practical standpoint, it will require virtually no maintenance over its life.

“It doesn’t have to be painted so there’s no ongoing maintenance cost to the body corporate,” he adds.

At a Glance...

Architect: Glyde Bautovich

Images: Brett Boardman

Builder: B&M Building Group

Main Concrete Elements:

  • Off-Form Concrete Walls, Balconies and Soffits

Main Concrete Benefits:

  • Low-Maintenance
  • Cost Effectiveness
  • Raw Aesthetics
While the rear of the building speaks to the qualities of off-form concrete, the street-facing façade on Old South Head Road reads very differently. It presents more vertically and features a timber veneer cladding to reference the huge Moreton Bay fig that stands at the front of the building.

The materials palette also features anodized aluminium and fibre-cement cladding over permanent concrete formwork.

It is, according to Glyde, a simple palette to match the simplicity of the architectural detailing. “We’re happy for the materials to speak for themselves,” he says.