Architect reveals inspiration behind design of Scarborough towers

David Hillam (Owner Principal) and Felipe Soto (Director) Hillam Architects' involved in designing the 3 Oceans development.
David Hillam (Owner Principal) and Felipe Soto (Director) Hillam Architects' involved in designing the 3 Oceans development.

THE architects behind the future Scarborough towers have shared their inspiration for the development.

David Hillam and Felipe Soto led the Hillam Architects team that has worked on the Iconic Scarborough design for nearly two years.

Mr Soto said developer 3 Oceans sought to create an exciting project that would contribute to the state and local community.

“This development will become a landmark on Perth’s coastline and the amount of thought, design development and rigour applied to the proposal is reflective of the project’s importance,” he said.

“We hope that this project raises the bar for the quality of all development along our coastline regardless of scale.”

He said the podium (building base) design emulated an oyster, with a hard and highly textural shell juxtaposed against curved coloured glass panels at ground level, while the towers referenced the Indian Ocean through its colour palette and form representing waves.

“The design proposal is a clear reinterpretation of Scarborough’s biggest asset: its coastline,” he said.

The Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority described the proposal as demonstrating “design excellence”, which Mr Soto said was achieved through innovation, creativity, functionality, build quality and responsiveness to context.

He said the MRA’s design mediation panel considered the integration and connectedness of public spaces important, as well as the architectural character.

The towers incorporate eight various glass colour types, providing average reflectivity of 12 per cent, which Mr Soto said was relatively low compared to the current industry standard of up to 20 per cent.

The facade’s wave design aimed to disperse reflection but a degree of reflectivity was needed to achieve the required thermal performance under the Green Star rating.

The building podium is Mr Soto’s favourite aspect of the design, which he believed would extend the “beachfront experience” and connect the area east of West Coast Highway.

He expects the “tall and thin” towers to become a landmark when viewed from a distance and “become a point of reference to define Scarborough on Perth’s metropolitan coastline”.

“The proposed height and location on the prominent intersection of two major roads will make a strong contribution to Scarborough’s urban character, building on the hugely successful beachfront redevelopment to fulfil Scarborough’s potential as Perth’s best coastal destination,” he said.