They soar, they bend, they break all the rules as architects compete to create the next generation of iconic buildings, writes Michael Murillo.

Clean lines and contrasting colour … Melbourne’s South Yarra is soon to have a striking new resident shape up close to its famed Chapel Street. The 18-level, 318-apartment Claremont Manor, designed by renowned architects Bird De La Coeur with interiors by Hassell, has just been launched for sale off the plan and is already creating a stir.

“It’s in such a prime location, yet is very, very affordable,” says Andrew Leoncelli, managing director of agents CBRE Residential Projects Victoria. “It’s a beautiful-looking building and it offers great connectivity and a wonderful lifestyle.” One-bedroom apartments start at $340,000.

 The garden’s highest climber

China’s largest developer of residential property, Country Garden, has finally entered the Australian market with a major project of 830 apartments over three towers. Set to become one of the largest residential developments in Sydney, Ryde Garden will be adjacent to the North Ryde shopping centre.

The Bates Smart-designed buildings will be 12, 21 and 27 storeys high, each with a rooftop sky garden and spectacular views to the city, and sharing a gym, pool and childcare centre. “This is the point that represents a new chapter in Sydney’s property market,” says marketing and sales agent Sam Elbanna of CPM Realty. “It’s a very exciting development, and a very exciting time.” Sales have just begun (subs: late June).

Sleek, spacious and ever-so stylish

Renowned for its passion for design, Melbourne developer Fridcorp – the company behind the good-looking Avenue and Lilli (corr) in South Yarra, Elm in South Melbourne and Ivy in St Kilda – is making a splash with its stylish entree into the Sydney market with the 198-apartment Eve at Erskineville. Over 80% of the first staged release of the striking buildings by dKO (correct: dKO) Architecture, with interiors by Hecker Guthrie, sold shortly after launch.

“I think the location is fabulous, close to the CBD, with lots of amenity, but also it offers real value for money, and great design,” says Fridcorp managing director Paul Fridman. “We’ll be delivering a bespoke, high-quality property at a price point the market can afford, with an integrity of design that we love.” Two more developments, this time good-looking towers in both Sydney and Melbourne, are now being planned, as well as the next stage of Eve.

Livable bay-side bliss 

Buyers of apartments at a massive new waterfront development in Sydney’s south are being offered an additional inducement to part with their cash. The developers of the 600-apartment, ten-hectare community Woolooware Bay, the Bluestone Group, are offering purchasers a free session with an interior designer to personalise their home.

Designer Sue Axeland says she’s working with buyers through a 1.5-hour session to go through colour schemes and available upgrades to make sure their apartment becomes a seamless fit with their lifestyle. “The feedback I’ve received has been very rewarding,” says Axeland, who’s previously worked with Lend Lease.

Scaling new heights 

Downsizers looking to upscale on the Melbourne waterfront will be eyeing plans for the 42-level, 460-apartment Marina Tower, set to be the tallest building in the Docklands. Not only will it have a big selection of three-bedroom homes, many with fabulous views, but it will also have world-class facilities that it’ll share with a Four Points by Sheraton hotel set to occupy the low-rise part.

They will include not only a 25-metre lap pool, gym, library, gallery, business centre and conference rooms, but also a private cinema, billiard room, private dining room and restaurant and cafe. Designed by DKO and marketed by CBRE Melbourne, prices will range from $360,000 to $4 million.

Show-stopping skyscrapers 

What’s in a name? While Melbourne tends to favour the more conservative option of calling buildings after their location – think The Melburnian, The Fairlie on the corner of Fairlie Court and The Clarendon on, yes, Clarendon Street – Sydney goes full bore for monikers far more evocative.

The names of two of the just-released towers of the vast new sell-out development Darling Square on the site of Sydney’s entertainment centre, for instance, at first caused much furrowing of brows: St Leon and Wirth House. Then developer Lend Lease explained they were called after old Australian circuses, for an area that’s always been known for showbiz. Roll up! Roll up…

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