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Architects designing developments for their own backyards

Clique Ivanhoe by Ocean Dior has been designed by an architect who lives in the same suburb.

EVER wondered what would happen if the architects designing Melbourne’s apartment.

An Ivanhoe apartment complex has become a rare test case for what happens when a celebrated architect designs a development in their own back yard.

Peddle Thorp design director Peter Brook, who spearheaded Rod Laver Arena and the Melbourne Aquarium, is also behind the Clique Ivanhoe apartments set to be built in the suburb he has lived in for 30 years.

“It’s probably an unusual set of circumstances for an architect to work in the area they live,” he said.

“I will probably drive past it more than weekly.

“And when it does occur, I would think it does mean you will approach the building with a unique understanding. Inevitably, because it’s in your own back yard, you pay even more attention to it.”

He has tipped that as apartment living expands to the suburbs architects live in, more would be designed with a better understanding of local character.

At Clique the focus is size. But it also reflects the lifestyle locals are used to, with a modern twist.

“The creative challenge was to find the right balance between all the competing objectives and I think as a smaller scale boutique residence it will be of a scale for what suits the local village,” Mr Brook said.

“(But) it’s very much a contemporary design. We aren’t about replicating heritage details.”

​Clique will be spacious on the inside as well, with floor-to-ceiling windows to maximise natural light.

Strong lines, plenty of glass to take in tree-lined views and a mixed palette define the exterior.

Inside, size is also a factor. Each of the 11 apartments have three bedrooms and two carparks.

“What we hope we have is a modest scale building that won’t challenge or change the character of the buildings in the area,” Mr Brook said.

Developer Ocean Dior also sought local expertise for the fixtures and fittings.

Carr Design architecture director Chris McCue grew up in the suburb and has drawn on his time there to create interiors centred on an open-plan lifestyle.

The development’s bedrooms will also be spacious.

Pale marble highlights and glossy white joinery in the kitchen will join european oak floors in the adjoining living spaces to enhance natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows. Alternatively, a contrasting palette of charcoal and wood grain veneer is also on offer.

Bathrooms will come with space and natural, stone-finish tiles.

Located at 112 Waterdale Rd, Ivanhoe, the development is close to the Ivanhoe village along Heidelberg Rd. It’s also walking distance to the train station and supermarkets in an area known for leafy streets and parks.

Point Polaris general manager Robert Clarke is overseeing the project for the developer and said it was aimed at local downsizers.

“We have identified that people living in Ivanhoe want to stay in Ivanhoe, but there’s not a lot of accommodation suitable near the Ivanhoe village,” Mr Clarke said.

The three-bedroom designs will accommodate visiting grand children, while a focus on kitchens, including Gaggenau appliances, and living spaces suit a social life.

“They want the flexibility for older children and grand children to come and stay,” Mr Clarke said.

Outdoor space takes advantage of an elevated position to take in tree-lined views towards the CBD.

There has also been inquiry from 45-50 year olds.

“People who want to live in Ivanhoe, but can’t afford the big family home,” he said.

“That’s been a bit of a surprise.”

The apartments are sizeable, the smallest just 110sq m, the largest up to 140sq m, with a 215sq m Penthouse that spans the entire top floor, including 105sq m outdoors.

Prices for the three-bedroom apartments start at $1.1 million and range up to $1.5 million. The penthouse, which could accommodate a four-bedroom floorplan, has a $2.495 million price tag attached to it.

Construction is scheduled to commence in January, 2018, and be completed before the year’s end.

Originally by Nathan Mawby at

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