The latest happenings in the Melbourne property market. For our Essays and The Secret Agent Report, see our Research page.

Category Archives For: Architecture

Luxury in London

A quick look at London’s new most expensive development. Taking over 5 years to build, it has attracted some of UK’s most notable personalities to buy into the building. Worth a look if you have a spare five minutes.

The viability of smaller apartments; why developers should take note of Gary Chang

The world is growing rapidly with an estimated further 2 billions people to be added over the next 40 years.  Something has to give to make the planet ( this includes Australia ) a viable place that can accommodate these major changes.

Enter Gary Chang.  Gary is an amazing architect.  We’ve featured his famous apartment on this blog before. Read more here…

Well known for his own apartment which he designed.  The apartment is only 30 square metres yet features 24 different potential spaces within that space.

The key quote from an interview with Gary by Milk Design is this:

“Psychologically, one should “maintain” an open mind on how to use the space and avoid, as much as possible, the pre-conceptions on what a “home” should function and look like.”

This sounds like a smart concept to take on board.


How Skyscrapers Can Save Our City & Connect Humanity

Last week I met with a lady to talk about property.  The conversation quickly turned to development and the future direction of Melbourne. A baby boomer herself,  she worried about the strong NIMBY culture (not in my backyard) that was prevalent.

Human rationale generally flies in the opposite direction of having a sky scraper city.  Yet dense cities have enormous benefits especially in a world expanding rapidly.

A man who knows all too well about the benefits of denser cities is Edward Glaeser who is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University.

His most recent book Triumph of the City makes a great case for building vertical cities rather than sprawling ones.

If you get 30 minutes, this article summarises Edwards points quite well.

This reminds me a lot of what’s happening in Melbourne at the moment and indeed many other parts of this country.

Our current way of tackling housing shortages is to keep pushing out. Massive sprawling housing estates are booming – my fear is this will end badly for those residents.

Much of this is to do with the way we restrict development and height restrictions in capital cities.  Pricing of property hinges on supply v demand.  With supply under threat,  people are forced into amenity poor locations.

“Cities connect humanity”

I think Edward makes a fantastic point by this one sentence.  Cities are a melting pot of ideas, productivity and social interactions. It’s no surprise that many of the great inventions and human achievements have evolved from cities such as New York, Paris and London.

In essence; this is what attracts the majority of us to live close to the city.

The forgotten measurements; height and volume

We’re a country that has been continually pushing further and further out seeking the next land opportunity.

Over the last decade,  the average Australian mentality has shifted somewhat.  Land is being sacrificed in favour of proximity.

It’s still a surprise to me that we continue to just publish land and apartment sizes in width and length.

Sure this is vital information.  Yet the volume of space is incredibly important when looking at the way we use property today.  Apartments for instance with high ceilings will give the place a different feel, be cooler in the summer and offer storage solutions or mezzanine options to buyers.

If we could start seeing height and volume measurements in the marketing of property, this would be a good thing.

Got an opportunity for a good read on architecture?

I’ve been reading 50 60 70 : Iconic Australian Houses.  Three decades of Domestic Architecture.

It’s an impressive book on some of the great homes of that era.  So much gets written up about turn of the century architecture.  It’s good to read some material of these latter periods.

Inspiration is largely drawn from German and American counterparts rather than English heritage.

This book will bring back memories,  show some things that make your cringe as well as show some of the truly great masterpieces of Australian architecture.