The concept of re-creating a street like environment on top of a high rise building with townhouses forming a “village in the sky” is innovative and original. The unusual idea of luxury residences accessible through the open air street located 30m above ground floor level as part of a large commercial and residential project allows few lucky purchasers to enjoy very special apartments not available anywhere else. Our brief was to bring Melbourne’s elegance and beauty to the project. The challenge was to implement elements of Australian lifestyle, but not to alienate and exclude local traditions, rather compose a uniform marriage of both and transform it into a fascinating fusion of Australian and Asian cultures.

For example, the cobblestone laneways dividing the townhouses reflect Melbourne’s city character, while the arches found in the laneways and lobby have a sophisticated Asian vibe. We were aware of how important this development is, particularly because of its location near the Chinese Academy of Arts with vibrant artistic influence on Zhuantang. Exiting the lift lobby and entering the street, which proportions and style mimics Melbourne city’s famous lanes, one would never imagine being on the top of a tall building. The sky, sun, clouds and rain will all be part of this immersive experience. Tall walls, street surface, textures and colours will all be present to complete the impression.

It is not until entering the apartments the surrounding mountain views will be revealed. Large windows providing uninterrupted vistas across the landscape and city also serve as a link to the open space each apartment enjoys. Some of those spaces will be equipped with BBQs, spas and plenty of greenery recreating Melbourne house gardens which helped it hold A Most Liveable City title for many years. The open staircases with floor to ceiling windows allow sweeping views to be discovered progressively as you walk up. Every living area and bedroom in each residence overlooks the landscape from an elevated height. Open plan living so important to Melbourne’s residents has been adopted to all floor plans with some apartments having mezzanine level overlooking double height spaces.