Alma Road Residences / Credit

Multi-Residential + Commercial

Alma Road Residences – delivering a new way of living in New Lambton

As part of the briefing process, CKDS were invited to participate in a design competition for the Alma Road site.


As part of the briefing process, CKDS were invited to participate in a design competition for the Alma Road site. The client, Stronach Property, wanted to create an apartment building and mixed-use development in the heart of New Lambton Village which would be the first of its kind for the suburb. This presented an exciting opportunity for CKDS to add to the fabric of New Lambton and develop a new typology of living for the local area.


While the brief called for a mixed-use development in the heart of New Lambton, it had to incorporate the existing shopfronts located along Alma Road. As an already busy retail centre, Alma Road consists of single storey and two storey commercial and retail premises with very few unifying features. Plus, there was the challenge of making the most of the tight, triangular site.


Early in the design process, we presented our work in progress to the City of Newcastle Urban Design Consultative Group who provided feedback and advice which helped our team to further refine the design concept. This meant that once the development application was ready to be lodged, the approval process was achieved within a short timeframe. 

Working closely with such an experienced client who had clear aspirations for the site, meant we were able to successfully deliver a mixed used development consisting of 17 apartments across three levels and a ground floor activated with a series of micro commercial spaces. In addition, we were able to integrate the existing shops into the new building through the clever use of landscaping and deep soil planting.

Its curved edges and clear horizontal lines are a key factor in how the façade of Alma Road Residences has been designed with a sculptural corner element paying tribute to the history of this prominent building.

Alma Road Residences / Credit

Design influences

Taking into consideration the surrounding typography of New Lambton, the design concept for Alma Road Residences is heavily influenced by the art deco elements of the Savoy Theatre which sits on the opposite corner. The art deco references are carried throughout the project and were a key driver in deciding the best way to organise the façade within the tight, corner site. 

Featuring a long north easterly boundary, the building layout is designed to position the apartments over Lambton Lane to facilitate a high level of solar access to all apartments. This ensures that 100% of apartments receive sunlight in mid-winter while 88% achieve at least 3+ hours of sunlight every day.

A constant splayed cut was introduced to the facade, which allowed the balconies and building modulation to respond to the various conditions around the site. The southern façade uses angled ‘incisions’ into the form to angle views away from the busy Alma Road and provide privacy.

The site also embraces the outdoors with a generous communal ground floor that includes a landscaped courtyard and manicured gardens. In addition, deep soil landscaping forms part of the entry sequence to the building which is a key feature of the project. 


The results speak for themselves with Alma Road Residences receiving a commendation in the 2021 Newcastle Architecture Awards / Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing Awards which acknowledged the creation of an apartment building that responds to its contextual conditions while contributing to a sense of place within the local New Lambton community.