Designed by Fender Katsalidis, Yarra One, a new landmark multi-residential build in South Yarra’s Forrest Hill precinct is set to include an elliptical tower that comprises 268 apartments across 26 floors.

Complete with a range of shared amenity spaces, Yarra One, say the architects will set a new benchmark for apartments of the highest design quality in South Yarra. Fender Katsalidis has included a library, dining room, gym, wellness retreat and wine room in its design, all which function as natural extensions of the home.  

According to Karl Fender, founding director of Fender Katsalidis, Yarra One’s “Circular, elliptical and rectilinear forms combine to create a new building that is both bold yet welcoming.” 

Also encased by what the architects call a “grand timber trellis”, the atrium has been designed to become a meeting place for both residents and the community as a public space designed to be enjoyed and marvelled at by all.

According to Nicky Drobis, director of design at Fender Katsalidis, the inspiration behind the design of the atrium was openness, connection and amenity. 

“We wanted to create a space that celebrates Melbourne’s vibrant street life. South Yarra is a highly desirable as a place to live and work in Melbourne with excellent services and lifestyle amenities.”

“The proposed atrium will become a town square for the local neighbourhood, activated with cafes and featuring a grand staircase for people watching and the opportunity for open air markets and performances,” said Drobis.

“The genesis of the design of the atrium was inspired by the vernacular Australian verandah – a sheltered outdoor space at the ground floor of a residence with the opportunity to interact with neighbours. The atrium is sheltered by a trellis structure which offers a degree of protection from wind and inclement weather; while appearing open, welcoming and light,” she said.

According to Drobis, the Yarra One atrium will “…improve pedestrian connections between Claremont Street, Yarra Lane, the South Yarra train station, Daly Street and Chapel Street.”

While multi-residential designs are, for the most part, becoming more and more complex, Drobis says the emergence of these more sophisticated and grand multi-residential buildings is a result of both emerging market forces and the wider understanding of the benefit derived from quality design. 

“In recent years, we have seen the market for apartments broaden beyond investors to include many more owner occupiers which has led to shifts in design parameters.”

“From a planning and architecture perspective, there is a very clear understanding that buildings of this scale will be a part of the built environment of our cities for a long period of time. We and the design community constantly strive to ensure our buildings make a worthwhile contribution,” she says.

Asked as to whether there is a distinct ‘Melbourne’ and ‘Sydney’ style in terms of multi-residential design Drobis says that “…Sydney has a magnificent harbour and a subtropical climate - as a result, multi-residential buildings in Sydney are very much focussed on open air living and outlook.”

“In Melbourne, we have a more temperate climate and do not have the exuberance of the harbour. As a result, the city’s buildings have become the view and as the architecture in Melbourne has evolved to produce more playful and sculptural forms,” she says.