Under the moon's spell

By Mary Riekert
October 27. 2010

While to many, LUNA St Kilda will bring to mind Melbourne's iconic playground on the bay, Luna Park, this $40 million development is actually named after the moon.

Architects Elenberg Fraser have created what they term a living facade. The building has a gold mesh facade that is partly operable, like a shutter, enabling residents to control their balcony space. This, the architects say, allows the building to change constantly, taking on the cylce of the moon - quiet during the day, becoming more present in the afternoon and coming to life at night.

With this facade they have reflected the brief of the developers, the Buxton Group, to reflect the living habits of St Kilda residents and the bayside suburbs unique lifestyle.

With five floors of housing - 76 one and two-bedroom apartments - and a ground-floor retail complex, Luna is situated in the heart of St Kilda and offers easy access to everything this vibrant suburb has to offer. A stone's throw from the National Theatre and Acland Street's shops and cafes, LUNA St Kilda is a short walk to the Carlisle Street tram, which takes you directly to the beach, St Kilda Sea Baths and Fitzroy Street, home to some of Melbourne's trendiest bars and restaurants.

For the fitness inclined, the bayside cycling/walking trail is two blocks away and extends all the way to the Westgate bridge, via Albert Park and Port Melbourne, and down the bay to Brighton and then a further 27 kilometers to Carrum.

For those who are interested in more leisurely purusits, the weekly Sunday craft markets along The Esplanade offer a wealth of stalls featuring the work of more that 150 of Victoria's best artists and craftspeople.

St Kilda is just six kilometers from Melbourne's CBD, making it ideal for city workers who want to enjoy the beach combined with an exciting city lifestyle.

Architects Elenberg Fraser have designed an iconic building with a "living facade". Shutters of gold mesh will allow residents to open or close their balcony spaces according to the weather and their needs. The shutters allow residents to bring the balcony space back into their living area when the weather is bad - a clever ploy when the winter gales blow in from the bay.

These shutters will also allow residents to control their environment for privacy and interaction with the street below. The architects anticipate that the facade lighting, controlled by the residents' shifting interaction with the building, will create a glittering light effect at night.