On Wednesday last week the UDIA held an Expo and Developments Showcase – Obstacles and Innovation to showcase a number of developments including Triptych and Highlands.


Triptych is a high rise residential development in Southbank that won two UDIA State Awards in 2011 for High Density and Environmental Excellence.

The Stable Group was the developer of Triptych with RCP as project manager and Nettleton Tribe the Architects.

The building, which has three facades (hence the name), is 29 storeys in height and comprises of 157 apartments.

Having had the opportunity to visit an apartment at Triptych, it was interesting to listen to the speakers from the project team describe the features of the building that set it apart from your typical high rise development.

One of the key goals of the project team was to attract a predominately owner occupier market by encouraging people who formerly lived in the suburbs to adopt an inner city lifestyle.  This was achieved through providing a larger than average floor plate for each apartment and the use of design techniques to create a more ‘residential’ feel.

One of these design features included a vertical garden (sustained by a water harvesting system), which frames the entrance to the building, provides a pedestrian related scale and a green wall.

Triptych is designed around three ‘vertical villages’ which are further divided into three-storey atriums that provide a space at the bottom level for residents to interact and socialise.  These ‘urban villages’ are intended to provide a contrast to the often dull or standard foyers of many apartment buildings in Melbourne, provide natural light and allow for cross ventilation.

Another interesting feature of the design was the commissioning of artist Robert Ownen to collaborate with Nettleton Tribe Architects to design the façade.  Robert designed the facade to include dispersed coloured window panes to represent falling rain.  The building has 27 different colours of glass with each apartment having at least one as a feature.


Highlands is located in Craigieburn and is Stockland’s largest development in Victoria.  Since its inception in 2002, Highlands has been developed at a phenomenal rate which has accredited it as the fastest growing community for the past three years in Australia.  It is expected that Highlands will be completed in another 5 to 7 years.

Some of the services and facilities that have been completed within the development to date include the recent opening of the Highland Shopping Centre, which comprises a Woolworths Supermarket and 22 speciality shops, Hume Global Learning Centre, a Child and Learning Centre and the Highlands Hotel (nearing completion).

The focus of this session was a panel discussion on the recent development of the Highgate Recreation Reserve, a state-of-the-art recreational facility developed as a public-private partnership between Stockland, Hume City Council, the Richmond Football Club and AFL Victoria.  The $10 million dollar facility will be an alternative training ground for the Richmond Football Club but more importantly will continue to promote the game in growing communities as envisioned by the AFL.

This public-private partnership funded predominately by the State Government, AFL Victoria and Stockland, is an example of how a community can benefit from various stakeholders who share a common vision.  As explained by the panel, the process to reach this outcome was very much facilitated by the goodwill of all parties.  Notwithstanding that legal agreements were required, all parties actively participated in regular meetings which meant that the project ran smoothly and was completed within eighteen months.

Enquiries James Million (jjm@colliepl.com.au)