11-13 Oct 2021
Darling Harbour, ICC SYDNEY

Thinking outside four walls: Australia’s newest top 5 apartment developments

With more buyers shunning the quarter-acre Australian dream for apartment living, the chase is on for developers to cater to a growing market. Add to this a rapidly rising population, and the need to provide better options for housing is ever increasing.

Luckily, there are plenty of new apartment developments in the mix, so we’re taking a closer look at who’s thinking outside the box to create buildings that have something special to offer.

  1. Barangaroo South, Lendlease

Lendlease’s multi-award winning Barangaroo South development in Sydney is now home to 20,000 workers, hundreds of residents and comprises more than 80 new shops, cafes and restaurants. As well as containing the developer’s third CLT (cross laminated timber) building in Australia, International House Sydney, Barangaroo South will also soon contain the stunning residential building, One Sydney Harbour.

With a design by preeminent architect and Pritzker Prize winner, Renzo Piano, the building will be an inspiring addition to the Sydney skyline comprising three towers reaching 247m high. The building’s most expensive penthouse is tipped to sell for $118,000,000 – one of the most expensive in the southern hemisphere – and the building is expected to be complete in 2020.


  1. Hedgeley Malvern East, Little Projects

Currently under construction in Melbourne’s leafy suburb of Malvern East, Hedgeley Malvern East is developed by Little Projects and occupies the block formerly owned by the Dairy Bell ice cream factory.

Photo credit: Floodslicer

It offers 3860sqm with a focus on natural greenery along with a central garden atrium catering for the development’s 117 apartments. The gardens have been designed by well-known landscape designer, Jack Merlo, who created the central atrium reaching four levels with a focus on plantings and greenery consistent with its location. Other communal areas will include a cinema, gym, lounge and dining area, plus another green space atop the building with dining tables, barbecue areas and outdoor fireplaces. As for the apartments themselves, natural light and living areas are oriented to take advantage of the views, with a design by SJB and AdeB Architects.

Photo credit: Floodslicer

  1. The Melbourne Residences, ARIA Property Group

Located on Melbourne Street and Fish Lane, South Brisbane, this residential tower by ARIA Property Group occupies a significant site and includes 180 residential apartments and amenities over 20 levels.

Not only is it within 10 minutes’ walk to 335 restaurants, cafes and bars, it also has impressive amenities within the building, including a sophisticated private dining room, cinema room with gold class theatre chairs, large pool, barbeque area with sun lounges and a fitness centre all on the rooftop. The UDIA thought so too, awarding it the coveted Queensland President’s Award at the state Awards for Excellence, as well as the National Award for High Density Development at the national Awards for Excellence 2017, with judges commending it for the living experience it created for its residents.

  1. Nightingale 1, Nightingale Housing

Early this year saw the successful launch of Nightingale Housing’s Nightingale 1, in Melbourne’s Brunswick. The housing development is an environmentally sustainable, financially affordable and socially inclusive building that has the community at heart, engaging owner-occupiers into the project as active developers from the outset. It offers 20 high quality homes with an average star rating of 8.2 stars and has a lush community garden on the rooftop.

The latest news from the group is the launch of Nightingale Village, which takes the community-based concept even further. It’s a future precinct comprising a series of buildings by seven talented architects using the same sustainability principles of the Nightingale model. Located on Duckett Street, also in Brunswick, it will culminate in another completely smart, innovative and livable approach to housing.


  1. 88 Cambridge St, Elenberg Fraser

Architects Elenberg Fraser has designed a new residential building in Cambridge Street, Collingwood. Benefiting from its location next to a community park, which is one of the precinct’s only green spaces, the development plays on concepts of nature and urban life, within a design framework underlined by the rich Chinese heritage of the client.

If you look closely, the design reflects the inverted landscape of Huangshan Mountain, a mountain range in eastern China. With clouds pooling at the base and rising to a floating peak topped by sky, the building honours the client’s Asian culture – they hail from nearby the mountain range – and on a broader scale speaks to Melbourne as an emerging Asian city. It also features industrial detailing and a beautiful lobby that appears as a white gallery space.

About the Author: Annie Reid

Annie Reid is a qualified journalist, professional copywriter and published author with a passion for everything bricks and mortar. For many years, she’s written thousand of stories for newspapers, magazines and clients around the world. Somewhere between the heady buzz of headlines and deadlines, she discovered a niche for creating tailor made content for the property, real estate, architecture and design industries. Annie holds a Bachelor of Arts and is currently studying a Masters in Publishing and Communications, both from the University of Melbourne.

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