Dahua Group and RotheLowman look to impress as Hawthorn marches on

The Hawthorn/Hawthorn East duo continue to bubble along as apartment hotspots with a raft of fresh planning applications before City of Boroondara. Leading the next wave of apartment projects for the popular postcodes is a sleek application headed by Shanghai-based Dahua Group.

Under affiliate Dahua Australia, the leading Chinese developer is pursuing its second sizeable Melbourne apartment project in the form of a 356 dwellings spread over a 12,289sqm site in Hawthorn East.

Following on from Dahua Australia's Noir in South Yarra, 33-53 Camberwell Road would see the demolition of six lowrise commercial and retail buildings. With similar design traits to another of their upcoming projects nearby at 196-202 Burwood Road, RotheLowman have created a flowing lowrise complex with the standout feature a seemingly suspended swimming pool which spans two buildings.

Snapped up by Dahua Australia during mid 2015, the development of 33-53 Camberwell Road would add to the many apartment projects that continue to consume prime development sites along the Burwood Road/Camberwell Road corridor.

33-57 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East application summary

Ground level perspective. Image courtesy RotheLowman
  • Application submitted December 2015
  • Site area: 12,289sqm
  • 356 dwellings spread over five buildings
  • 37 x 1BR, 50 x 1BR plus, 63 x 2BR, 169 x 2BR plus, 20 x 3BR, 1 x 4BR, 5 x duplex, 11 x townhouses
  • Provision for 474 car parking spaces, 251 bicycle bays & 375 stores
  • 2,025sqm of retail space split between two large tenancies
  • Amenities include: rooftop area, lap pool, sundeck, internal courtyard and public plaza
  • NSA residential: 24,659sqm
  • GFA: 53,480sqm
  • Estimated project cost: $80 million

Designed up and down

The expansive site is partly zoned CZ1 and carries a 14.5 metre height limit. To counter the architects have chosen to sink the site below ground level, allowing for seven levels of residential living when only five are discernible from the street.

Combined with the intense site landscaping and public plaza combined into the design, the design firm is hopeful that the proposal will create a strong benchmark for future developments in the Hawthorn area.

The primary design driver for the internal faces of the development was the creation of a crafted valley landscape, with a soft tiered edge and a sense of scale within the central zone. Imagery was inspired by the stepped landforms of rice paddy fields and the stone terraces of Machu Pichu.

This concept informed the notion of a central courtyard space, and the facade treatment created by tiered and contoured forms. Horizontal concrete bands with a textured finish are evocative of stone terraces, creating a series of strata like levels, while green glass and external walls in a colour pallete of soft natural tones are drawn from a natural pallette.

Urban context report, RotheLowman
The proposed feature stair leading to the lower courtyard. Image courtesy RotheLowman

Public piazzas at entry points to the site off Burwood Road and Camberwell Road create openings into the site. Feature stairs cut a pathway into the open contoured space. The sunken courtyard garden within creates a layered spatial experience and provides visual connection, interest and recreation.

Urban context report, RotheLowman

Boroondara contends with a number of significant proposals

33-57 Camberwell Road is by some way the largest current planning application on Boroondara's agenda, but a number of other noteworthy applications are also filtering through.

17-23 Lynch Street is VicTrack's latest disposal of an unwanted land holding. The JAM Architects-designed building would see 107 dwellings created adjacent to the Belgrave/Lilydale Line on what is now a hardware outlet and vacant land. Sales for the project are poised to commence upon approval.

17-23 Lynch Street, 2 Queens Avenue and 29-31 Queens Avenue

Nearby Queens Avenue in Hawthorn also continues to garner the attention of developers with two projects under consideration. 29-31 Queens Avenue is awaiting a planning permit after receiving a notice of decision for its 72 apartments while Ascui and Co. have lodged plans for 563-565 Burwood Road which also maintains a Queens Avenue frontage.

Combined the four major developments outlined above could add as many as 550 apartments to Hawthornn and Hawthorn East, without factoring in the many smaller active apartments projects in the area.

33-57 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East development team

  • Developer: Dahua Australia Hawthorn Pty Ltd
  • Architect: RotheLowman
  • Town Planning: Contour Consultants
  • Project Manager: PDS Group
  • Development Manager: United Property Corporation
  • Landscape Architects: Jack Merlo Design
  • Traffic Consultant: GTA Consultants
  • Services and ESD: ADP Consulting
  • Waste Consultant: Leigh Design
  • Land Surveyor: Bosco Jonson
  • Acoustic Consultant: Acoustic Logic
  • Building Surveyor: Grimbos Building Surveyors
  • Accessibility: Morris Access Consulting
  • Engineering Consultant: Mordue Engineering
  • Fire Consultant: Omnii
  • Arborist report: John Patrick Pty Ltd


Nicholas Harrison's picture

It is ridiculous that the planning minister approved a 14.5m height limit on this site against the recommendations of the independent planning panel.

This site is adjacent to a tram stop, within walking distance of a train station and one of the few large sites in the area that could accommodate a much taller development with no impact on existing residential properties or heritage values.

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

It was not widely reported but the Andrews government has removed the mandatory height controls put in place by the previous government along the Burwood/Camberwell Road Commercial Corridor, Canterbury Road Commercial Corridor and Tooronga Commercial Corridor.

This will allow for much more appropriate level of development to occur in these areas.

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