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Urban Industry

Victoria's Push for Better Apartments (Part 1)

In May, Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne released the government’s discussion paper entitled Better Apartments . This document is the next stage of the process that began under the previous government looking at how to improve the design quality of Victoria’s apartment dwellings. The Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) has been concerned for some time about the poor quality of amenity offered in new apartment...

Smart Cities Habitat Master Planning Framework

Cities the world over are facing difficulties in waste management, scarcity of resources, air pollution, human health concerns, traffic congestion and inadequate, deteriorating and ageing infrastructure. These are among the more basic technical, physical and material problems. These challenges require an urgent response and smart ways to manage them. In the past systems in industrial cities were mostly skeleton and skin. Post-industrial cities...

An interview with Milieu's Michael McCormack

Urban Melbourne recently spoke with Milieu Property co-founder and Director of Milieu Built (Milieu’s associated construction company) Michael McCormack about the company's ethos and values, their work and how Milieu was conceived. The discussion with Michael began with his career post schooling as a carpenter; despite enjoying the trade wanted to become far more involved in the entire development process. He subsequently went back to study...

Apartment standards should be based on performance

The proposed implementation of standards across Melbourne apartments is strongly supported by ClarkeHopkinsClarke, a Melbourne architecture firm committed to the creation and support of vibrant communities. Contrary to recent media arguing the proposed standards in the Victorian Government’s ‘Better Apartments’ discussion paper will only lead to increased housing prices, we believe the implementation of standards has the potential to encourage...

Internal Amenity, one for all and all for one?

Internal amenity is delicate, multifaceted and, most of all, subjective. The uncertainly and often changing goal posts as to what is an ‘appropriate level of internal amenity’ have long created frustration within the development community. Perhaps as a response to this or, despite all of this, the recent proposition by the new State Government for apartment standards has prompted a lot of new debate and opinion on all things ‘internal amenity’...

Sarah Buckeridge on integrated rail investment

With the spectre of South Yarra Station's entrances and street interfaces remaining unchanged a real possibility in the near to medium term and with a booming high-density population centred around South Yarra's Forrest Hill Precinct, there remains a real likelihood that necessary infrastructure upgrades - such as a norther entry to the station - vital in meeting population increases in the area will not be delivered. While South Yarra remains a...

Better Apartments: Yes, but not at the expense of innovation

The planning industry has been waiting for some time for the release of guidelines on the development of high rise apartments in Victoria. This is largely a result of the uncertainty, at both local government and VCAT, regarding acceptable levels of internal amenity and also the hot issue of ‘equitable development potential’. Some decision makers will not accept south facing apartments but others will, some will accept studio style dwellings for...

"Better Apartments" should be retitled "More Expensive Apartments"

On the surface, the Victorian Government’s “Better Apartments” discussion paper seeks to confirm what every apartment occupier would want to hear: mandating bigger, brighter, cross-ventilated apartments with great outlooks. What it fails to address is that this comes at significant cost. The Government is using this discussion paper as a pre-emptive move to bring Sydney’s SEPP 65 strict planning rules to Melbourne. If this transpires, the...

Top down versus bottom up architecture

For folks who aren’t architects (like me), we don’t give much thought to building design. We blissfully carry out our lives in and around structures. I’ve had the privilege recently to try to understand how a building takes shape during the design process. I’ve discovered that there seem to be 2 methods at either ends the same spectrum. Top-down and bottom-up. Each has an profound affect on not only the designs an architect produces but also how...
Docklands. © Urban Melbourne

Lucas Real Estate and the current state of play in Docklands

Urban Melbourne recently sat down for a chat with Lucas Real Estate Managing Director Glen Lucas along with Director of Property Management and recent recipient of the Property Manager of the Year award, Dylan Emmett. On the agenda was the current state of the Docklands and its progress during the 15 years Lucas Real Estate has been active in the precinct. With an office located on Docklands Drive, it has provided Glen and the Lucas Real Estate...

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Development & Planning

Monday, January 23, 2017 - 00:00
Prominent builder Hickory Group has added a third Melbourne project that will utilise the Hickory Building System (HBS). A proponent of prefabricated construction methods, Hickory Group's latest HBS-driven project will be Brisbane outfit Blue Sky Funds' 42-50 La Trobe Street.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 00:00
On 2 January 2017, it was reported that several popular eateries and bars in Footscray had been vandalised, including the perennially successful 8 Bit Burgers on Droop Street, and Up In Smoke on Hopkins Street. 8 Bit had the warm new year's welcome gift of 14 smashed windows and the words “F**k off hipster scum” spray-painted on their entrance.

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 17:00
Melbourne’s architectural landscape is a wonderful juxtaposition of modern and Victorian architecture. Although the CBD has been peppered with many skyscrapers, its historical structures have won Melbourne the title of “Australia’s most European city”.

Transport & Design

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 12:00
Timber mid-rise buildings are becoming the preferred choice for many stakeholders in Melbourne, due to a combination of factors, including cost-effectiveness, liveability, ease and efficiency of construction. Within the recent National Construction Code change, Deemed-To-Satisfy provisions allow mid-rise timber construction for buildings up to 25 metres “effective height” (typically, eight storeys).