Empty nesters, scaling down from the large family home, once had to ditch the suburbs and head to the inner city. However, in the last few years, developers have seen the advantage of creating large apartments in salubrious suburbs such as Hawthorn. And rather than feeling ‘displaced’, there’s a sense of familiarity without the work of tending to large gardens.

1. Ola Architecture Studio

Location – 729 -731 Burwood Road, Hawthorn

Recipient of an architecture award from the Australian Institute of Architects (Victorian Chapter) in 2016, these nine apartments by Ola Architecture Studio pick up the ‘rhythm’ of the neighbouring Victorian shops. An original shop was integrated into the design to ensure the scale of the streetscape was respected, predominantly two storey. Timber-battened screens on the façade, along with creating a series of tiers to reduce overlooking, is further enhanced by a ‘laneway’ connecting the site’s two frontages. The use of recycled bricks also gives this development a rustic ambience

2. Jackson Clements Burrows (JCB) Architects – Averi Apartments

Location: 64 Anderson Road, Hawthorn East

Appealing to locals scaling down in the neighbourhood and environs, these 29 apartments, together with one penthouse, are enveloped by a lush garden designed by Eckersley Garden Architecture. ‘Lantern-style’ balconies, clad with timber battens, are ‘clipped’ to the building, some containing a terrace leading to one apartment, others leading to two, one above the other.

3. Stokes Architects

Location: 121 Power Street, Hawthorn - Maple Apartments

Recipient of the best new apartment development in 2018, awarded by the City of Boroondara through its Urban Design Awards, the Maple Apartments exemplify that 51 apartments can still be treated as bespoke. Designed by Stokes Architects, with interiors by Studio You Me, the Maple Apartments feature fine bronzed-battened sliding screens to filter natural light, monitor views and allow for privacy.

4. Steve Domoney Architecture

Location: 8 Simpson Place, Hawthorn

An interesting juxtaposition of materials, including zinc, roughcast concrete and timber, is thoughtfully integrated into this boutique-style development. Defining the entrance is a sculptural angular corten balustrade, creating a welcoming sense of arrival. A combination of two apartments, one townhouse and five houses, this development shows what can be achieved by thinking ‘outside the box’.

5. Architect Alexander Tzannes

Location: Burwood Road, Hawthorn

Originally a tramway depot, these apartments front Burwood Road andwere reworked by esteemed Sydney-based architect Alexander Tzannes. Completed in 2001, these apartments, integrating the depot with new apartments, benefit from their proximity to the nearby Yarra River and the gardens leading to it. It shows not only the importance of recycling disused buildings, but also being close to public transport, literally with trams on one’s doorstep.

Text by Stephen Crafti

Images from Ola Architecture Studio

Photographer Paul Carland

Ola Architecture Studio

Image c/o Ola Architecture Studio.

Image c/o Ola Architecture Studio.

Image c/o Ola Architecture Studio.

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