Campus style developments: a new model for apartment living

The high land value and small footprint of development sites in inner-urban areas generally present an economic case for single, high-rise, multi-residential buildings with various amenities stacked on each floor.

However, a number of major brownfield urban renewal areas have recently claimed much larger sites, ones that require an entirely different approach to the design and development of new communities.

When presented with a large site that is to be designed, built and marketed by a single architect and developer, the opportunity to practice a holistic mix of architecture, town planning and place making bestows a great opportunity for all involved.

Typically for these sites, the right solution is a ‘campus’ style approach, whereby a group of buildings are designed as part of cohesive, identifiable community.

RotheLowman has been behind a number of successful campus style developments to date, and we see this typology as a valuable new paradigm for apartment living.

Along with making full use of a larger development or urban renewal site, campus style developments respond to a consumer demand for a greater sense of community and connectivity in apartment buildings.

When apartments and amenities such as communal outdoor areas, ground floor hospitality operators and retail tenancies are spread across a number of low to medium rise buildings as opposed to being stacked vertically, the result is a development with a genuine mix of uses and users.

A strong example is the regeneration of an urban brownfield site is our Abbotsford project on the banks of Yarra River, now home to three complementary developments: Eden, Haven and Sanctuary.

Working together with the developer, our team planned, designed and delivered a major campus style precinct with strong community spaces set as a priority.

With a project of this size, we see good design as being equally as much about the space between buildings as the buildings themselves.

Across the three adjacent buildings, we created a precinct comprising 500 apartments, public plazas with open Wi-Fi, shared workspaces, community garden, alfresco dining, swimming pool, gymnasium and multiple retail tenancies.

The ground floor amenities such as hospitality outlets and public lobbies interact with the street and are enjoyed by the hundreds of development residents and other locals, blurring the line between the public and private domains.

Looking at recent successful brownfield development sites in Coburg, East Bentleigh, West End and Marsden Park, we at RotheLowman are confident that campus style development can lead to the best possible outcomes for major renewal sites.

We remain excited by future opportunities to design and develop new residential communities from the ground up.

Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

Transport & Design

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 12:00
When a site spans 19,280 square metres, it becomes a 'district'. That's the case according to the development team behind the Jam Factory's pending overhaul. Reporting on the project to date has focused on the close to 60,000 square metres of new commercial space that is earmarked for the site, but more importantly from a layperson's perspective is the extensive new public realm that is planned as part of the development.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.