With striking designs and concepts, from a sci-fi cave to blocks with karaoke rooms, developers are going all out to get your attention, writes Michael Murillo

It’s one of the wackiest, most deliciously hip apartment building designs the world has ever seen, with echoes of science fiction but destined to become a landmark reality.

Iwan Sunito
Iwan Sunito

Architect Koichi Takada has given the Crown Group’s new $575-million, 401-apartment development at Sydney’s Green Square a futuristic looped shape, with a hollow centre and cut-outs within the facade.

Crown CEO Iwan Sunito, however, is a big fan. “We constantly strive to innovate across all facets of our developments and create buildings which stand the test of time,” he says.

Residents will have an infinity-edge pool, spa, gym, music rooms, theatre, concierge, a roof top terrace and sky lounge to make them never want to leave the block with a ‘hole’ new look..

The group has another project just announced, too, Crown Ashfield, an $88-million, Turner Associates-designed 101-apartment tower in Sydney’s inner west, with communal facilities including a piano room.

High hopes for Melbourne

Australia 108
Australia 108

Melbourne is about to become home to the highest apartments in the southern hemisphere with a stunning,

ultra-luxurious 100-storey tower on the edge of the city. Designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects, and developed by Singapore-based World Class Land, Australia 108 will have 1105 apartments, three pools, three gyms, private dining rooms and theatrettes.

CEO of the developer’s parent company, Koh Wee Seng, says it will be an international landmark. “Australia 108 will offer a lifestyle unlike any other in Australia,” he says. “As the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, it will offer a life lived above the clouds and an unparalleled level of luxury.”

On the right track

With the award-winning architects Marchese Partners at the helm, the new 61-apartment building Lumina at Ashfield, Sydney, is a study in good design, with a luxurious fit-out being sold by CPM Realty.

Even more alluring for families, however, is its location close to the train station, adjacent to the shopping mall and near great private schools like Trinity Grammar, De La Salle and St Vincent’s primary.

Queens Domain
Queens Domain

History renewed

When dKO Architects principal Koos de Keijzer was asked to design a swish new apartment building between Melbourne’s CBD and St Kilda, he went immediately to gaze on the classic 1940s Frederick Romberg-designed Stanhill and Newburn Flats on the same street. “I wanted to make our building pick up the threads of their story, and weave them into something contemporary that was still sympathetic to those buildings,” he says.

And the result? The new 20-level, 238-apartment Queens Domain has the same stark modernity as its neighbours … but with just a few more friendly curves, drawing comparisons with another of his great successes,  Fridcorp’s Eve at Erskineville.

Bondi boost for Mirvac

Maxwell Place
Maxwell Place

Developer Mirvac has finally won its battle to develop a 190-apartment building set among Moreton Bay fig trees five minutes from the sands of Bondi Beach, called, appropriately, The Moreton.

“It’s not often you have an opportunity for anything of significance in an area like that,” says group executive John Carfi. “But we’re thankful to secure that opportunity in such a great location.”

It’s one of three major projects Mirvac is currently involved in. In Green Square in the inner south, it will start marketing units in the area’s tallest building: 250 apartments over 28 floors.

Meanwhile the newest release at Harold Park at Glebe, the 49-apartment, four-level Maxwell Place, is selling well with the final stage of the project to be released around the middle of the year. “We have a lot of confidence in the apartment market at the moment,” says Carfi. “It’s still very strong.”

Something to sing about

EQ: Karaoke Room
EQ: Karaoke Room

In the apartment market, there’s lots of competition to provide the best, most innovative, communal spaces and activities possible. But one Melbourne tower is now breaking new ground by offering karaoke suites, a ‘sky-high’ games club and exclusive private dining rooms.

Eq. Tower, developed by ICD Property in joint venture with Sino-Ocean Land and  designed by Elenberg Fraser, rises 62 levels with  632 apartments in the CBD’s north. And suggestions for karaoke? The lush gardens of level 7 could inspire The Green, Green Grass of Home, the pool could lead to The Who’s Water, and the games room with its billiards, poker and mah-jong table … Lady Gaga’s Poker Face anyone?

Roof garden sweetens the deal


Does this new community to be built on an old industrial estate have the sweetest name in development history? Welcome to Sugarcube Apartments and Honeycomb Terraces, coming soon via Colliers to Sydney’s inner west suburb of Erskineville.

With 109 apartments and 18 terraces, it’s being developed by Golden Rain and designed by architects dKO, just 3km to the city, and close by the train station. And the icing on the cake? A beautifully landscaped roof garden from which to enjoy the delicious views.

 Carlisle Street
The Carlisle

Local heroes

The Carlisle, a new boutique development in St Kilda. is making the most of its location while offering something for everyone.  With units in  the 69-apartment block ranging from $290,000 for a studio to $775,000 for a two-bed, two-bathroom, there ‘s something to suit every pocket.

Timber floored living areas give it a beachhouse feel while the rooftop terrace  will make the five-storey Carlisle a breezy oasis in the midst of the buzzy suburb. A joint venture partnership between Element Five (a subsidiary of VCON) and a private local Australian developer, The Carlisle is being marketed by CBRE.

Jacob3Smart flats for the Hills

CPM Realty project marketer Sam Elbanna has found selling a new luxury development of 33 bespoke apartments in Sydney’s North West, The Jacob at Baulkham Hills, an absolute labour of love. “Having grown up in Baulkham Hills, I can testify that it is an exceptional suburb with a great sense of community,” he says.

“And The Jacob is an exceptional development, close to excellent schools, sporting facilities, shops and public transport. It’s bringing modern cosmopolitan living to this area.”


Sonia (Resize)Flour Power 

When investment analyst Daniel Cuthbertson heard about the development of an old heritage flour mill into apartments in a neighbouring suburb to his, he was instantly intrigued.

“It’s a fantastic community around there,” he says of the Sydney inner west suburb of Summer Hill. “Then I looked at the design, and what the architects were doing, and how they weren’t overdeveloping the site at all.

“I thought it would be a good time to invest in an apartment there.” As a result, Daniel and his wife Sonia (left) a human relations executive, both 36, bought a two-bedroom apartment in the EG Funds’, HASSELL architects-designed Flour Mill from agents Colliers. Now, only 11 terraces remain for sale in the project. “We both just love it,” says Daniel. “Now even my brother is thinking of becoming our tenant!”


Space for handymen

As a funky twist on the Men’s Shed movement, a new development in trendy Sydney inner west hotspot Dulwich Hill is about to get its own bike shed as a place for residents to tinker with their bikes, make furniture and craft their own projects. In addition, the William Smart-designed 252-apartment Arlington Grove will also have a club room and an orange grove to walk through … and harvest.

Village people


A brand new apartment village in the middle of Sydney’s pricey Upper North Shore will mean downsizing locals, or young people starting out, will no longer have to leave the area to find affordable homes.

The 142-unit Lindfield Village has been designed by Crone Partners, and is being developed by Chinese group Aqualand and sold by CBRE.

Boutique bargains

Investors pricked up their ears with news of a boutique block of 33 apartments being planned for the heart of Sydney’s Bankstown, 400m from the railway station, with one-bedroom-plus-study units starting at just $440,000. Mosaic sounds a cut above the usual too, with timber floors, stone kitchen benchtops, and a plaza being developed across the road. Sales are via CPM Realty.

Middle ground

What do you do when you’ve an apartment building sited slap bang between an old part of town and the inner city? MEZZO19_Roof-Garden-Tower-B_22K_300DPI_3MBFirst, you call it MEZZO, or “in the middle”. Secondly, you design it with a complete mix of styles, both Federation and contemporary to reflect the contrasting streetscapes.

And thirdly :“You give people a choice of modern or traditional colour schemes and finishes,” says David Cullen, the managing director of MEZZO developers Oakstand, who’s creating the KANNFINCH and CHROFI-designed ten-level building between Glebe and the city with the Denwol Group. “It’s close to the city but with a strong village atmosphere, so it does feel it’s the best of both worlds.”

Fitting in

In a suburb traditionally full of old, well-established houses, there were many who felt that putting up apartments in the north-west Sydney suburb of Putney would be a disaster. “But they’ve proved extremely popular,” says Paul Lowe, sales and marketing director at Frasers Property Australia, whose masterplanned community Putney Hill is breaking all sales records.

“People used to be forced to move away from the locale to find different housing when the big houses no longer suited them. Now they don’t have to.” Frasers has  now launched the three boutique buildings of Canopy, with 131 apartments. Prices start at $600,000 for the Cox Richardson Architects-designed homes.


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