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Dahua Group's Green Lu discusses Hawthorn Park

First covered on Urban Melbourne over a year ago, Dahua Group's $300million Hawthorn Park development will be the largest development within the City of Boroondara LGA upon completion comprising four buildings on a 1.2ha site within walking distance of shopping, cafes and entertainment in Camberwell, Auburn Station and Swinburne University.

Architects RotheLowman collaborated with landscape architect Jack Merlo to create the central park and a series of garden spaces which soften and compliment the built form which has multiple facades to three streets – Camberwell Road, Burwood Road and Gillman Street.

The design of the internal facades and the lush park-style landscaping was inspired by the stepped rice paddy landforms and stone terraces of Machu Pichu. Textured, horizontal concrete bands will evoke the idea of stone terraces on a hillside, creating strata-like levels that blend with green walls and natural bluestone, steel and timber.

Hawthorn Park brings a new architectural form and a new level of amenity to one of Melbourne’s most established blue chip neighbourhoods. It’s designed to balance bold, modern forms with a respect for local character.

Behind those facades lays a range of contemporary residences, all of which enjoy garden vistas and access to a private park of abundant space and lush greenery.

- Kim Lowman, Principal, RotheLowman

Hawthorn Park has been designed with well-being at the forefront, encouraging and facilitating social connection, activity and well-being. Wellness amenities include a gym, group training room, massage and treatment room, a meditation garden, garden lounges, a hammock lounge and a garden walk. There will also be retail outlets and a café on street level.

The development's centrepiece, however, will be a 25m long residents pool suspended between two buildings which according to Dahua Group will be Melbourne’s first suspended sky–pool.

Further to this the sky retreat will include expansive rooftop terraces on two buildings, a sky walk with impressive views, splash pool, residents’ lounge, barbecues, a communal kitchen, private indoor dining to outdoor dining, function space and residents’ garden plots and garden shed.

Hawthorn Park’s four low-rise buildings (Elm, Jasmine, Ivy, and Maple) offer a wide range of residences from one and two-bedroom apartments to three-bedroom, three-bathroom plus study penthouses and a collection of double-storey townhouses with individual street and garden access.

All 368 residences are oriented to optimise abundant natural light and garden vistas.

Hawthorn Park designed by Rothelowman is Dahua Group's second Melbourne foray. Image: Dahua Group

Urban Melbourne spoke to Dahua Group's Green Lu about their soon to be launched project.

UM: What was the appeal for Dahua of this site in Hawthorn East?

GL: We were attracted to the size of the site. It is not very often that site of such significant size, close to 10,000 sqm in a premium suburb like Hawthorn East is available for development. 

Our strength has always been our ability to deliver comprehensive lifestyle driven projects that enhances its residents and surrounding community.

Thus, Hawthorn Park was the perfect opportunity to create a remarkable lifestyle project in an exceptional location.

UM: How did you settle on RotheLowman as the architects for the development?

GL: RotheLowman was selected as the preferred architect over as their proposed design is the closest to meeting our vision for the project.

In addition, RotheLowman established a reputation, track records, intimate knowledge of the City of Boroodara planning requirements and their easy going yet disciplined work ethic is a good fit with our team.

UM: What was your brief to the architects?

GL: Our brief to RotheLowman was to design a ‘better living’ apartment concept that will cater to the resident's varied lifestyle. The residents must fully experience their living space and hence, space functionality and efficiency, natural lighting and storage spaces are priorities to address.

Externally, we wanted a more natural surrounding for the residents to enjoy with dedicated passive and active areas to mingle and build bonds.

We are indeed happy with the outcome that the team has achieved for the project. We believe that the considerable thought given to the internal space planning, architectural aesthetics, and residence amenities will see the project being well received.

UM: What was the inspiration and rationale behind the suspended pool?

GL: As mentioned, we wanted the project to have passive and active amenities for the residents. During the design process, we identified the active amenities to be positioned on the rooftops. However, rather than having individual active areas over separate buildings or focusing all amenities on one, we explored the ways to integrate the amenities.

From here, the idea of a suspended pool to bridge and connect two active amenities areas for the residents was realized. This ‘sky pool’ is the very first in Melbourne and it would be a unique amenity that the residents will appreciate.

UM: What your intended target market for Hawthorn Park?

GL: We have designed the apartments to suit a wide demographic that would like to buy into it: from first home buyers, families, downsizers, and side-sizers, we envisage all of these demographics buying into the property.

UM: What are Dahua's ambitions for further apartment developments in Melbourne?

GL: We have several other investment and projects currently ongoing that at this stage will keep us busy up to 2030 in Melbourne! We are always on the lookout for projects that fit into our vision and objectives be it residential estates or apartment projects. Hence, if viable apartment opportunities arise and fits our objectives, we will take them on.

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