The Atrium

Jersey Design Awards 2019 ‘Commended’ – Best large-scale development (residential or other)

The Atrium is located at the base of the natural escarpment of St Brelade’s Bay.  The site is within the Island Plan’s Built-Up Area Zone and the wooded hillside to the North, falls within the Green Backdrop Zone. The steeply sloping site enjoys spectacular panoramic views of the sweep of the Bay to the South.

Godel Architects were approached by a Developer-Client whose brief was to develop a design to replace an existing house with five luxury apartments (with garage parking), which would take advantage of the stunning views across St Brelade’s Bay.
The concept of the building is a response to the topography and qualities of the site by fragmenting elements of the building’s mass.  These fragments were then pushed and pulled, to create balconies and sheltering overhangs from the sculpted form. The resultant design balances the contrasting textures of painted white render and coloured pre-cast rainscreen tiles in a volumetric array designed to break up the overall mass of the building and its building line.  This creates playful areas of light and shade, and solid and void, which makes this a stand-out piece of architecture; orientated to not only make the most of the views, but also sculpted to maintain privacy for both the occupants and the neighbouring properties.

Honouring the volumetric form of the principal elevations, full-height glazing elements incorporate ventilation screens that provide floor to ceiling views, whilst maintaining the uncluttered finish and minimal-appearance detailing.  The flanking elevations were formed in a tiered, fanning arrangement. This enhances the views to the green backdrop and allows the spectacular sea views to penetrate into the building’s rearmost rooms.  This also creates additional visual interest and further enhances the chiaroscuro effect.
The materiality of the building was thoughtfully brought together to create a clean and crisp, contemporary profile; the contrast between light and dark cladding helping to modulate the facades and to blend the building visually into the wooded escarpment to the rear of the site, whilst emphasising the fragmentation concept.  The semi-basement areas are finished in granite, creating a podium-like plinth for the sculptured building above, which almost organically grows from the landscaping and road below.