Sydney Architecture Images- Green Square Precinct

Mondrian Apartments


Frank Stanisic Associates and Turner + Associates.


2-4 Powell Street Waterloo




Millennium Moderne


Reinforced concrete frame. Rendered blockwork cladding.


Multi-residential Apartment Building
Mondrian Apartments, Waterloo for St Hilliers, 2002 (RAIA Wilkinson Award Green Square Design Commendation).


The architectural concept for the projecti s a perforated wall, operable and transparent to allow the movement of cool air, reflection of heat in summer, access of warming sun in winter and entry of light to animate the interiors. The project consists of four slim-line buildings seperated by finger courtyards. The building cross-section with lliving areas and balconies to the noth and glass enclosed access to galleries and related empty stairs to the south achieves a sustainable environment where low levels of energy consumption is balanced with high personal comfort. The heights of the building vary from four to seven storeys and are distributed to define public spaces and minimise the overshadowing of open space.

The building courtyards are multi- functional spaces that provide ground level access tp apartments, seperation between habitable rooms, seating and planting . They are secured with gates and bounded with private entries and lliving courts attached to apartments. The Project extends the public domain with the publicity accessible pocket and through-site pedestrian way that connects Powell St. to Short St. The site coverage is 38% leaving 62% of the ground plane as open spaces, either private or publicly accessible. The area of publicity accessible open space is 1 700 Square Meters, approximately half of the open space of the site. The area of unexcavated or natural ground is 406 square meters and is confined to the Powell St. Park.


Waterloo, NSW
Stanisic Associates Architects
Contact address:
Project Team
Project architect: Ben + Adam Giles + Russell
Design architect: Frank Stanisic
Project manager: Rowan Dickson, St Hilliers
Developer: Rowan Dickson, St HIlliers
Structural consultant: Mark Davies, Van Der Meer Bonser
Civil consultant: Mark Davies, Van Der Meer Bonser
Electrical consultant: Stuart Adams, Adamus consulting Practice
Mechanical consultant: Geoff Walker, Adamus Consulting Practice
Hydraulic consultant: Kevin MOnk, Steve Paul & Partners
Landscape consultant: Adrain McGregor, McGregor and Partners
Interior designer: Ruth Levine, Ruth Levine Design
Lighting consultant: Gavin White, Simpson Kotzman
Acoustic consultant: Matthew Glanville, Vipac Engineers & Scientists Ltd
Environmental consultant: Matthew Glanville, Vipac Engineers & Scientists Ltd
Builder: Wayne Bass, St HIlliers Constructions P/L
BCA Consultant: Vic Lilli, DLM Consulting Group
Other Team Members : Alek Jelicic, Jessie Mc Nicoll


Stylish multi-unit living with a small environmental footprint.

A Sydney apartment block demonstrates how multi-unit developments can be designed with the environment in mind, providing better living standards and value for residents.

Completed in 2003, Mondrian is a multi-unit development consisting of four buildings, all of which use simple design principles to achieve a more comfortable living space for residents, whilst minimising its environmental impact.

The buildings range in height from four to seven storeys, in order to minimise the overshadowing of communal areas, and are orientated to make the most of the sun’s heat. Natural cross-ventilation has been incorporated into all the units, the majority of which have dual aspects.

Air is cooled as it passes through the cellular structure of the building, flowing from cool to hot sides to create induced air currents and natural cooling.

This approach means that no air conditioning was installed in the units and since completion more than two years ago, not a single air conditioning unit been retrofitted, a great example of the effectiveness of the cross-ventilation design.

Common areas have the same natural light and cross-ventilation amenities and energy efficient fittings and timers have been fitted throughout.

Mondrian has a natural gas hot water system, 3A-rated fittings and dual flush toilets as standard, and rainwater collected, stored and reused for on-site irrigation. Native and low-water use plants have been selected for the site’s common areas.

Mondrian’s gardens are also used as a bio-filtration system to reduce the impact of stormwater directly entering the stormwater drain.

While the communal pool does require substantial water, its location within the Mondrian’s four building courtyard means that it receives only limited direct sunlight, minimising evaporation. The pool is not heated in winter, reducing energy use. In the summer, the pool contributes to the cool air flow through the central courtyard.

Material selection for Mondrian includes sustainably-sourced timber forthe gates of a number of ground-floor units and low energy-embodied structural precast concrete walling.

While Mondrian was designed and built several years before BASIXwas introduced, the development could be made BASIX-compliant with only minimal additions and adjustments such as an increased level of insulation. The site is a short distance to Green Square train station and close to a number of city bus routes. Restricted on-site parking and the provision of bicycle storage encourages residents to use alternative transport rather than relying on emission-intensive cars.
Mondrian demonstrates that, not only are multiunit developments able to achieve the new BASIX standards, but that many of the features BASIX encourages are considered good andcost-effective design by many architects.

At the time of completion, Mondrian units sold for between $350,000 and $600,000 andarchitect Frank Stanisic said that no additional costs relating to the sustainability features were included in the sale price.

“Cost-wise, it was absolutely business as usual for the Mondrian project. The developer accepted the sustainable features as part of the project and saw them very much as a positive point of difference in the market,” architect Frank Stanisic said.

‘The feedback from Mondrian residents is excellent,” he said. “By considering sustainable design principles, such as those embedded in BASIX, from the beginning of the project, Mondrian greatly reduced its environmental footprint.”

“BASIX for multi-units will mean that the sustainable initiatives demonstrated by Mondrian will become much more common in all multi-unit developments, and that's good for the environment and for residents,” said Mr Stanisic.

Mondrian’s sustainable features:

• Good solar orientation
• Cross-ventilation designed into all units
• Natural light and cross-ventilation used in all common areas
• Rain water collection and storage for landscape irrigation
• 3A rated fittings and dual flush toilets
• Energy efficient fittings and timers in common areas
• Natural gas boiler hot water system
• Operable sun control and shading
• Native and low-water use plants in common area gardens
• Low-embodied structural precast concrete walling
• Sustainably-sourced timber

For more information:
Stanisic Associates
Ph: (02) 9299 7871
McGregor Partners, landscape architect
Ph: (02) 9977-3853
Help Line: 1300 650 908

BASIX is a web-based planning tool that
requires new residential developments to
reduce water consumption by up to 40% and
energy by 25% compared with the average
home. Developments of 6 storeys and over
have an energy target of 20%.
From 1 October 2005, all development
applications for new residential dwellings in
NSW must be submitted with a BASIX
Certificate. BASIX will apply to all alterations
and additions in NSW from 1 July 2006.