THE IMPORTANCE OF ARCHITECTS ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY IN THE TOWN-PLANNING PROCESS

Unless a Council is completely satisfied that a proposal is not causing material harm or loss to any person, most of town-planning applications need to be publicly advertised. The usual procedure for a Public Notice is sending letters to property owners in the vicinity, sign boards on the site and/or notices in the paper.

When a Public Notice goes out to the community for a development proposed in the neighbourhood, the likelihood is that not everyone will be happy about the proposal. This is particularly true when a larger scale development such as apartment buildings or multi- unit development is proposed not to mention developments with religious use or any use that refers to activities where alcohol will be served.

Part of human nature is to react when anything interferes with our immediate needs. If we feel that our living environment is being changed or challenged or compromised in any way it is natural to have a negative reaction. When a development is proposed, the Council may arrange a general information meeting where plans are being displayed for the public to browse through. The architects and town planners involved are attending and are there, together with the Council to answer questions, concerns and queries that the public may have. Many times these meetings trigger fear and anger from the public and sometimes hostility directed towards both the Council representatives and the professionals involved in the design and planning. No doubt, this is a challenging situation for both parties on either side.  The right to submit any kind of planning application remains as a right for developers and architects and there are planning schemes that regulate what can and cannot be built on a site. Architects are generally working very well within these planning schemes to ensure that they are met and are complying with the relevant ResCode and standards.

Rather than demonstrating the rights of a proposal to potential objectors, we have found that a different approach and engagement with the community can reduce the stress of these Council meetings.  The way of addressing the potential objectors can have a huge impact on the number of objections that a development can have. Many neighbours have repeatedly told us that they get frustrated when they feel unheard, and neglected by architects and developers.

The most common concerns are the impact that a development has on traffic, overshadowing or overlooking issues, blocked views, noise and number of car parks provided. Many of these concerns can be avoided by following the planning scheme and its clauses but they may still be issues for the public. We always strive to listen to each and every one of the potential objectors, if they require further explanation we often invite them to the office to discuss and offer solutions and alternative ways of looking at these issues. We find it important that no one who attends these public meetings leaves without having their concerns addressed and we aim to give time for all attendees to thoroughly understand what their concerns are and offer our opinion on these. We also try to highlight real concerns and try to eliminate misconceptions by clearly explaining the proposal.

At Architeria Architects, we believe that by being transparent, and by using aids such as 3D animations of the development to help people visualise what is happening in their neighbourhood often helps putting peoples mind to ease as sometimes when we only see plans and elevations and facts and figures, these can be misinterpreted and look far more intimidating than they really are.

Other times, some people may be aware of that their concerns can be overruled or considered as irrelevant as some things are simply not taken into account when an application is considered. For instance, it is not a relevant objection that the proposed development might reduce your house value and it is not relevant who the potential new tenants or buyers may be. These objections are irrelevant. The council would not support an objection that is a matter of opinion either such as someone’s personal taste in what is beautiful or ugly. This can cause frustration for the objectors.

As a golden rule, let people talk. Let them ventilate their feelings, their frustration and fear. Let them be heard. Sometimes facing our concerns and wording them out loud can help and getting someone else’s opinion and outlook on these concerns can take the edge of our own concerns.

We believe that an architect’s role does not stop by designing efficient housing that satisfies the number of units that can be put on a site. We need to weigh pros and cons of potentially having our town-planning application ending up at VCAT and dragging for months, costing both time and money. There is a balance that needs to be achieved by meeting the developer’s vision and this is to try and meet the design objectives to assure a smooth town-planning process.

There is no other, more effective way to avoid objections than putting yourself in the shoes of the potential objectors. When you look at these people as your family, neighbours and friends, their concerns become your concern.

Efficiency in design can often be solved by different creative means to make up for lost square metres allowing for a private open space and as long as we, as architects, are committed to meet both ends; we can make way for a stress-free planning application process with satisfactory outcome for both client and neighbour.

If you require further information on the planning application process, or if you wish to discuss a new project that requires planning application please call Architeria Architects on 03 9894 5805.

This 3D Animation / Video Clip was made available to the Community during the

Planning Application Process for Wheelers Hill Apartments and Townhouses Project

Benefits of Architectural 3d Images & Animation

3D modelling has had an enormous break through during the recent years. Until 3D computer modelling became common, most architectural renderings were created by hand. Today, we see more and more images that are generated by computers and some of them are so photo realistic that it is hard to tell a difference between real and rendered images. Imagine being able to walk through your new home before it is built and to be able to make changes before laying a brick. Well, today it is a possibility that more and more has become a necessity.

What are the real benefits with producing these images and who are architects producing them for?

For real estate agents, when selling off the plan, using 3D renderings are a great marketing strategy. Visualization of space becomes easier and to see the finished product in images before construction can be a valuable asset.

For clients it is a great tool to be able to visualize the home, less surprises is always a positive thing and if anything, the use of 3D images and animation is an effective tool to create a clearer communication between architect and client.

For architects and designers themselves, working in 3D improves accuracy and is of great help during design stages. The use of 3D models can help with the coordination between interior designers, decorators and architects.

For interior designers it is a powerful way of not only designing spaces but also to be able to coordinate colours and finishes as a whole.

Architeria Architects produce all 3D images and animation in house and we can include 3D images in our concept design and town planning packages as an added value. Many architects do not have in house rendering and instead, they send the work overseas. The benefits of producing 3D renders in house is that the architectural firm will have full control over the images, produce more accurate and realistic images that correspond perfectly with the drawings and with the vision of the designer.

Architeria Architects

Why rebuilding can be better than renovation

Many of our clients are torn between renovating and rebuilding. In many cases the common perception seems to be that a quick face lift of an old house is the most cost effective solution. In many cases it may be just the opposite. There are also some other pros and cons to consider when deciding between the two options.

When deciding which path to follow perhaps one of the most important things to take in to consideration is how much of the structure that is going to be affected. Many times once the structure is changed; the cost will go up and sometimes even exceed the cost of rebuilding. Rarely renovation is as easy as some of the recent home shows on TV make it look like.

Many unexpected costs may occur with renovations as it is never easy to predict what lies beneath the surface. On top of construction cost any additional fees such as architectural design fees, structural engineering fees, permit fees has to be counted for. An old house can reveal some really nasty surprises that can turn out to be quite costly. As a rule of thumb, once a wall is removed it will attract other cost for reparation.

 Old bathrooms can hide asbestos that need removal by professionals, existing electrical cables in the torn down wall will need repair and even updating, a plasterer may be  needed to repair damages, painter to patch up, the waterproofing behind bathroom tiles may be in need of an update and so on. These are just a few unpleasant surprises that may occur. With unexpected work comes variation and sticking to the budget may be tricky. Once a builder has been engaged and the scope of works turns out to be something else than initially allowed for, variations and delays in construction can turn out to be costly exercises. One major contributing factor to cost rising is that once you tear down and build new, new energy rating requirements may apply. All new homes, major home renovations, alterations and additions may need to comply with the 6 Star energy rating standard in the National Construction Code.

Establishing existing conditions and measuring up is a cost that Architects will charge for as both the existing house and the proposed extension or alteration to the house needs to be drawn up. A new house only requires a new set of drawings. It is important to have a good set of drawings before the renovation since that will make it easier for the builder to quote more accurately.

Minor amendments or renovation of bathrooms and kitchens are generally considered as value adding whether as a complete renovation with amended floor plans may not always be a profitable exercise when considering a sale.  There are, however, more factors to consider than just cost, In particular if the reason of renovation is personal use such as adding space for a growing family or change of use due to personal taste and preferences.

As for the design, unless you plan to knock down a house completely, there are obvious limitations to what you can do. A complete remodelling of an existing layout can in our experience turn out to cost more than to build from scratch.

With renovation you are limiting your options. Before starting a renovation it is important to look up any impact that a potential heritage listing could have on your renovation, check out council regulations such as height restrictions, open space requirements and overshadowing, as these factors could impact on your dream vision.

For your new home – contact Architeria Architects on 03 98945805 

Eclectic Interior Design

Interior design trends are very much linked to trends in fashion. In fashion, when combining different styles and modern with vintage, the style is often referred to as unique or individual. In interior design we call it eclectic. Eclectic style is in its character a style that is borrowing different styles and design theories from different eras, origins and ideas. All these are then combined in one project or room or space. In interior design, there is a challenge in combining various, seemingly unrelated pieces of furniture, art and accessories and making them work together. It takes more than a nonchalant effort to create harmonious and stunning spaces when mixing different styles.

For many interior designers, a challenge can boost creativity and to create an eclectic space requires thought and efforts. All pieces need to connect and have that read thread somehow.  Our interior designers at Architeria Architects believe that each interior starts with a story .Creating interesting interiors is like travelling in time, through different atmospheres and choosing from these the pieces and elements that define the story you are about to tell.  An eclectic design is like rummaging through an old attic where precious pieces from various eras collectively create a feeling.

When creating eclectic interiors we want to avoid chaotic spaces. The opposite of chaos is order and for an eclectic space to have some sort of order we can use different tools to achieve that. In order to tie diverse elements together we can choose colour as our tool. The combination of certain colours can be the common denominator for a space. Many designers play it safe by using neutral colour scheme but sometimes an accent colour will be the silver thread that runs through the design, holding it all together. When creating eclectic interiors we need to constantly ask ourselves what is the common theme if we disregard an era or a style? What is it that we want to achieve? It is very easy to be like a kid in a candy store, wanting to fit everything in a space without balancing things by conscious design.

In this living room space shown below and created by the Interior Designers of Architeria Architects the combination of Scandinavian and Middle Eastern features and pieces of furniture is clear. The room accommodates the modern with some more rustic pieces such as the drum tables in combination with the modern accent lounge. The theme in this room has been inspired by the hand painted oil painting. Architeria Architects’ Interior designers borrowed colours, patterns and the feel from the painting with the Carpet Market theme and wanted to create a feel of travelling back in time to the Middle East. The trunk takes us back in time to the staterooms of ships that sailed to gather oriental spices, rugs and art and the décor of the room is a naval collection of pieces such as compasses, telescopes and an old wine jar in leather.

The more Scandinavian style TV unit and sideboard contribute to the organic feel with the walnut doors. The Bokhara rug is as sprung from the painting itself and adds a dash of warmth along with the distressed leather sofa. The lime green lounge is a different language all together but in this combination it works as it picks up the green in the painting.

The Interior Designers have used a combination of forms and shapes, the cluster of round tables and the round leather ottoman along with the round light soften the room with its square bulkheads.

Architeria Architects Interior Designers can create interiors to meet your vision and we follow your stories when we design beautiful spaces for you.

Architeria Architects

Wonga Park House by Architeria Architects

MELBOURNE TOWNHOUSES INVESTMENT

With house prices that keep rising and with low interest rates and a demand for townhouses, Melbourne Developers have kept themselves busy. Despite of townhouses being a great accommodation option to houses and apartments, townhouses in Melbourne Suburbs make great investments.

At Architeria Architects we have noticed the increasing demand for townhouses in Melbourne and also a quest for more innovative designs.

Many property and investment reports show that there has been a steady increase in townhouses construction and some of it is due to land rezoning. There are some factors to consider when starting your development portfolio and when it comes to townhouse developments. It is essential to do all the ground work such as thoroughly assessing the land before purchase. The more information you gather about the land, the less likely you are to encounter any surprises and delays with the construction.

Selecting the right site

The right site selection for your development is important. The right size of the lot, the right location, suburb and street are all important factors just as condition of the property and any overlays or restrictions affecting your development.

The location is one of the most crucial factors of selecting your site. Close proximity to services such as schools and childcare, shops, public transport, hospitals and parks are all factors that has to be taken in to consideration when selecting a development site.

Do your homework by checking Real Estate sites for sold prices in the area as well as supply and demand. At Architeria Architects, our affiliation with property developers and experts give us the tools for sourcing profitable developments.

Can I subdivide?

Areas that generally allow subdivision are populated residential areas and the zoning will determine what can be built. Different Residential Zones and different Planning Schemes determine the number and size of units on a site.  As your architects, we can help you with all Council negotiations and with checking the Planning Schemes relating to your property.

What can be built?

A proper site analysis is the first step to help you determine what can be built. We can help you establishing how many dwellings or units you can fit on one property. A sketch design can show how many units you may be able to fit considering setbacks and other Council requirements such as Private Open Space (POS) required and the number of required car park spaces. Building height restrictions has to be taken in to consideration as well. Other factors such as heritage overlays can limit the use of the site.

The right design

The design needs to reflect the population of the suburb and the lifestyle of the people. Inner Melbourne City living differs from outer suburban, young families have different needs and taste than perhaps those of the older generation and different cultural backgrounds will naturally reflect different design preferences.  Some things seem to be in common with most people tho; houses that have living and outdoor areas facing north, spacious living areas and a feeling of privacy.

The townhouse market has for quite some time been dominated by the type of design that can be found at volume builders. Typically these houses have pitched tiled roofs and a mix of brick and render cladding. At Architeria Architects we have seen the rising demand for more contemporary and new innovative designs as they are a strong selling point in the competitive Melbourne market. We have noticed that people are looking to express their own unique personality more which is reflected in the search for a unique design.

The Cost

There are several factors that will affect the cost of building. As a ball park figure, in our experience, a basic design with basic finishes can cost anywhere between $1,000- $1,500 per square meter. Naturally, the more sophisticated the finishes and facades, the higher the rate per square meter will be. Besides the fixtures and finishes and construction methods, the land itself will determine the cost. Challenging lands such as steep blocks and rocky soil can stretch the budget.

It is important to talk about the construction budget you have in mind as architect can give you an estimated cost for construction. At Architeria Architects, we will customise our design to fit in with your construction budget and suggest cost saving methods. For larger developments it is common to have a quantity surveyor on board to assess the estimated construction cost.

Architeria Architects have extensive experience in designing townhouses. Our experienced team of architects will make your development easy by taking care of the entire process from yield and fesibility studies, concept design, planning and building permits to tendering and contract administration.

For a free consultation, contact Architeria Architects in Melbourne and our friendly team is happy to assist you with your development whether it is your first development or a large scale project.

Architeria Architects

Architeria Townhouse Projects in Melbourne

Modern Country Living – Escaping to the Country

Country living in a modern age does not necessarily have to mean living in a cottage or a country homestead. A rural lifestyle can be a haven of relaxation and a conscious choice. In today’s hectic society with our busy lives it can offer an alternative way of living. When building a new home in a rural area, we do not have to compromise the modernity of urban living. It is fully possible to enjoy the best of both worlds when escaping to the country.

This Modern Country House is situated on an acreage rural property in Brandy Creek, Country Victoria. The brief was to create a small house for a young couple with busy lifestyles that respected the rural landscape and allowed for Blueberry farming on the property. The small house is blending in harmoniously with the green land by the creek and the somewhat small footprint is minimising any disturbance to the landscape.

The house location is on the highest point of the land, allowing it to follow the natural fall and to capture the pastoral views. The living areas that are north facing have glass sliders to allow indoor outdoor feel and to further enhance that very feel, the house has four outdoor areas with timber decking.

The Clients were inspired by the architecture they encountered on their trip to Germany and were particularly fond of the roof style that was prominent in for some of the German designers. 

We created an interesting feature with broken roof lines with a gentle fall and glass to allow for sunlight. The highest part of the roof continues down wrapping around the entry of the house with timber beam/ louvres .

The building materials have been selected to keep the country feel, blend with the natural environment, provide resistance to bushfires and achieve urban and crisp aesthetics. The façade materials are a blend of concrete, rendered brick, metal cladding and timber.  The Clients were strong about building a sustainable home and therefore a lot of Environmental Sustainable Design (ESD) solutions were implemented in this project.

The concrete walls’ thermal mass balances the change in temperature that occurs in country living and improves the building energy efficiency performance. The property has a few old decommissioned power poles that the Client was eager to salvage. The poles will form part of the interior as internal beams.

For your own Modern Country ESD home contact Architeria Architects. 

Architeria Architects

When Classic Marries Modern in Architecture

The definition of a classic house spans a variety of styles although classical architecture is most commonly derived from the principles of ancient Greek or Roman architecture and borrows its elements from the antique. Differences between Western classical and for instance Chinese classical can be quite significant but usually by classical we mean refined or perhaps even traditional.

Modern classical houses or New Classical Architecture, often have less of the intricate details of those from bygone eras –think of Modern Architect Le Corbusier with his classical designs.  A classical house in a modern implementation often follows the classical principles of architecture but have a contemporary feel. Contemporary buildings often follow the language of the modern movements such as Art NouveauArt Deco and use the term New Classical.

This modern classic house concept by Architeria Architects is situated on a steep block among trees with a glimpse of a river view in Ringwood North, Melbourne. In this project the brief had to work with the land, its orientation and with existing planning overlays and conditions.

The two storey house occupies a total room space of approximately 530 square meters. The ground floor, with its entry facing East as per Client’s brief following a Vastu Shastra principle deriving from India, leads in to the formal area with a formal dining and sitting and a guest bedroom with ensuite and a bay seat with magnificent pool views. The double volume formal dining has a ten degree angled wall that creates a majestic feature. The family area is separate with the kitchen and dining and a more informal family living area and is connected to the entertainment areas to the deck via large sliding doors, connecting the indoor with the outdoor.

The family bedrooms are upstairs, two of the bedrooms have direct access to the balcony and the third is overlooking the pool.

The brief was to create a modern classic house with an impressive front façade and following a more courtyard based design for the informal areas. Columns and large windows were important to the Client which was interpreted in to a more modern look of a classic design with its front pillars and lot of glass allowing for natural daylight. The eastern entry door is used as the main entry but the large sliding doors in the formal living can be opened to welcome guests arriving from the long driveway. To break the façade we created boxes of timber in angles, giving the house a contemporary touch.

We believe that Architecture is in its best when the mix of old and new is balanced and this Classic home by Architeria Architects is demonstrating just that – the marriage between classic and modern elements in harmony.

 Architeria Architects

Ringwood-Warrandyte Road House by Architeria Architects

Modern Concrete House Design in Melbourne

When a Client has a brief that correlates to the passion of the architect it is a match made in heaven between Client and Architect.

Architeria Architects were assigned to design this modern concrete house on a somewhat steep block and the concept quickly developed in to a modern, minimalistic design that captured the sloping land as much as the uninterrupted views of the block. The use of glass, steel and concrete gives the design its sophisticated, yet simple design and a somewhat masculine appearance. The rough walls with their mass speak of raw elegance. The grey mass of concrete used in this house feels modern, yet timeless in its presence as only concrete can be.

The design brief included a swimming pool which inspired us at Architeria to create an infinity pool with a waterfall that flows to a lower spa which creates a visually stunning effect as well as a fun function.

The interior design of the house will follow the façade and consist of natural materials and finishes to complement the concrete.

Concrete is not only an aesthetically pleasing look but it builds durable structures and has environmental benefits due to its high thermal mass.

Looking to build your own concrete home? Contact us at Architeria Architects for your very own designer house of concrete.

Architeria Architects


Happy New Year - happy new home

The article below from news.com.au sheds light on the housing market  in Australia. Looks like 2015 will be a great year to build.

 According to news.com.au LOW interest rates — and forecasts of more cuts in the coming months — look likely to make real estate an attractive investment in 2015.

Housing has been grabbing the headlines — particularly in the sizzling Sydney market — but other types of property investments have also been putting money in people’s pockets this year.

Figures this week from CoreLogic RP Data’s daily home value index show the average growth in home values across the major capital cities was 8.4 per cent year-on-year, led by Sydney’s 12.7 per cent growth and Melbourne’s 7.8 per cent rise.

Growth in Brisbane and the Gold Coast (5.3 per cent), Adelaide (4.7 per cent) and Perth (1.4 per cent) has been more subdued, but no residential markets matched the 20 per cent-plus growth in share market-listed property trusts.

This is great news for all home builders, developers and alike.

Hendra 1 & 2 in Mount Eliza

Architeria Architects have currently undertaken major restoration, expansion and renovation for the Iconic and historic, Hendra property in Mount Eliza - Melbourne

Hendra is considered as a great example of an interwar and significant architecture in the Old English style with streamlined Modern influences.

Shaped like a boomerang, the single-storey house is constructed of painted brick with a high, steeply pitched terracotta shingled roof.

Hendra is well known for its association with the Coles family, whose chain of retail stores became a household name across the nation from the 1920s.

Built for Sir Edgar Coles in 1938, the house was designed for extravagant entertaining and family living with staff quarters, a walled swimming pool and large reception rooms. Overseas visitors were frequently entertained at glamorous garden parties, and many locals remember coming as children to "Open House" Sundays at Hendra.

In addition to the renovation and expansion works, architeria has designed a new house on the property "Hendra 2". The creative design represents the ultimate integration with the existing 1938 heritage house.


The Yin and Yang planning approach delivers a classical architectural interpretation with a modern twist.
Architeria Architects are proud of this outcome and will continue the good work on this extraordinary project.