The Altair Apartments have been among Rushcutters Bay’s hottest property since their completion in 2000.
Engelen Moore’s masterpiece has a monumental position on Kings Cross Road, marking the transition from suburban to inner-city living.
Despite being near the epicentre of Kings Cross, Potts Point and Darlinghurst, the luxurious units provide a retreat from the urban life at its doorstep. Inside, the award-winning design transforms the homes into a contemporary private oasis from which to enjoy the views of Sydney Harbour, Botany Bay, or the CBD.
Building Altair was always going to be a challenge. Structurally, the 16-storey tower is on top of a four-lane traffic tunnel, which meant that the building could not rely on the lift cores for strength. Engineers and architects had to regularly think outside of the box when dealing with the constraints of the site.
However, Engelen Moore had set up an additional challenge in terms of making the unit environmentally friendly. The architects designed the unit to take advantage of light and orientation. Overhanging balconies and the external aluminium brise soleil (shutter-like awnings) provide sun shading, while the natural cross ventilation means that air conditioners are not required in the summer months.
The kitchen and bathrooms are built as free-standing pods, which encourage the breeze to flow through the units.
Visually the building is striking. Its rectilinearity is articulated with deeply recessed balconies, horizontal and vertical brises soleil. The crisp white concrete of the structure is in striking contrast with the blue-black lift cores, resulting in an elegant, textured, grid facade.
The interiors are sleek, contemporary and timeless. The streamlined minimalism of the design hasn’t aged in almost two decades.
One Altair resident told the Sydney Morning Herald that “it’s a fantastic building to live in. The cross-ventilation is great, we keep the place at the right temperature by adjusting the blinds and windows.
“There’s a sense of air and space … the way the building operates and breathes is just amazing. It’s a most unlikely location, but anyone above the eighth floor has wonderful harbour views.”
Altair’s slew of awards shone a spotlight on Sydney’s residential design. The jury of the World Architecture Award from 2002 said that the building won because “it represented excellence in contemporary design, [it] made good use of a difficult site, and it showcased environmental design”, while the apartments themselves were “very well planned and socially sound”.
- 2001 – State Housing Industry Association Award for High Density Project of the Year.
- 2001 – RAIA NSW Chapter Architecture Award for Single and Multiple Housing.
- 2002 – World Architecture Award for The Best Building in Australasia/Oceania.
- 2002 – World Architecture Award for The Best Housing Scheme in the World.
- 2002 – National HIA Award for High Density Project of the Year.
Altair has world-class services on offer that are not dissimilar to that of a five-star hotel.
- Heated swimming pool
- Two gyms
- A concierge
- A car cleaning area
- Bicycle storage
- Open-plan living
- Views galore
- Secure underground parking
There are 139 units in the block and the location provides inhabitants with a much-envied lifestyle. Situated at the intersection of Kings Cross, Darlinghurst and Rushcutters Bay it offers the best of what each of these suburbs have to offer.
If residents don’t feel like walking, trains to the CBD are in close proximity and some of Sydney’s best nightlife is just moments away:
Nearby Restaurants include:
There’s no need to look for a designated driver as a cocktail is very much walking distance with local bars such as:
Speaking of dog walkers, in 2016 an article hailed Altair to be one of the most dog-friendly apartment blocks in Sydney. Small dogs are allowed in common areas provided that they are not aggressive and the concierge even keeps some treats for the canine dwellers. There have even been reports of budding romance between two Maltese poodles Mambo and Cherry Blossom, who live two storeys apart.
If you’re thinking of buying and selling in Potts Point contact my team today.