Cirqua Apartments


  • BKK Architects
  • Aspekt Construction Group
  • Acor Kersulting
  • NJM Design
  • Urban Digestor


Cirqua represents a contemporary approach to multi-residential living in East Ivanhoe.

The new building provides a strong sense of address for residents whilst maintaining a highly contextual street rhythm and scale that stitches the project into the streetscape.

At the outset the dwellings within the project were conceived as ‘homes’ rather than ‘product’, resulting in larger apartments and balconies, diverse internal spaces and generous landscaping

Key Features


Prospective owners are increasingly buying into the apartment market as a matter of choice rather than necessity.

Previously a large proportion of apartments were targeted at investors, or those priced out of the housing market, at Cirqua the majority of tenants comprise owner-occupiers.

This shift drove the design approach to Cirqua, which consists of larger apartments and significant diversity of internal plans/apartment types. The amenity of the dwellings and quality of materials used were critical to the design of the apartments as ‘homes’.

A high level of accessibility throughout the building was provided to allow residents to age in place.


The building facades are highly articulated to reduce the overall building’s mass and present a smaller scaled, articulated face to the street.

The building mass steps down towards the rear of the site to follow the natural contours of the land.
Individual apartments within the building have a strong sense of individuality within the whole.

Along the side elevations ‘cutouts’ to the plan further break up the building mass and provide semi-enclosed lightwells to apartments. The lightwells bring light, air and landscape/garden plantings deeper into the building floorplate.


Through careful analysis of the existing context, the building design draws on the materiality and expression of local, historical housing types and reinterprets them in a contemporary manner.

Through the use of brick facing, exposed concrete and lighter, more filigreed screening elements the building’s materiality enhances a sense of permanence and durability.


Each apartment relates to the building identity as a whole with a circular motif carried through in the smallest details of each dwelling. Bathrooms feature white penny round tiles and circular mirrors, along with accent turned timber handles to joinery doors.

This play on the circular motif across a range of scales is also captured throughout common corridors with custom ‘wok’ lights lining the corridor ceilings and various signage features. A sense of bespoke detailing and tactility reinforce a sense of ‘homeliness’ and warmth throughout the interiors.


Cirqua was designed to carefully consider passive environmental performance with all apartments’ bedrooms and living areas provided with direct access to natural light and ventilation.

The concrete construction of the building provides significant thermal mass to each apartment, providing temperature stabilisation and thereby minimising heating and cooling requirements. The apartments achieve a 6.5 star average energy rating and incorporate minimum 4 star fitting and fixtures. 30kL rainwater tanks are utilised for toilet flushing in apartments and irrigation to common garden areas.

A centralised gas-boosted solar hot water system provides hot water to all dwellings.

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