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BETTER BY DESIGN // What matters to inner city apartment dwellers?

March 18, 2016

Today we are focusing on the real needs and desires of those who have chosen to live in the inner city.

With the property cycle entering a more challenging stage, the economic drivers that encouraged developers to deliver affordable, small apartments designed to be sold through investment channels is now drying up.

So most forward-looking experienced developers are considering alternative development models and target markets.

The market is self-correcting

Urbis research has already identified that the market has started its self-correction, with around 2,500 apartments brought to market in Brisbane in the December quarter, rather than the 5,000 originally planned.

We believe that the market’s recent focus on producing and selling investment units has resulted in the needs of the apartment occupier to be largely neglected.

An increased focus on quality owner-occupier dwellings

At Ellivo, we are experiencing a renewed and growing interest from our clients for boutique-scale developments designed for owner-occupiers.

Our clients’ briefs are for larger 3-bedroom apartments in medium-scale developments with a higher level of residential amenity, and there is a search for middle-ring townhouses, and sites for medium-density designer-homes.

So, given this emerging trend, how would you design better apartment buildings that satisfies the growing owner-occupier market, and provides a liveable amenity for those that are renting?

150730-0028a-wprasek-Ellivo Arena ApartmentsImage: Xoodu Photography

Talking with apartment dwellers

In order to improve the quality and depth of our design service, from mid-2015, Ellivo’s designers has been undertaking primary research into the experience of residents that have been ‘living the dream’ in Brisbane’s inner city apartments.

What we have found has helped to refocus both Ellivo’s and our clients’ design priorities, and will form the basis for a series of articles over the coming months.

meet the arch
Research informs our design process

Our primary research to find out what matters now includes the insights we have gained from:

– Hosting ‘meet the architect’ evenings to get direct feedback from residents on their likes and dislikes on our completed buildings

-Taking a short-term lease in one of our completed apartments and enabling our designers to experience the reality of living in one of our apartments, as well as immersing themselves in the inner-city living experience.

– Interviews with Building Managers on operational and maintenance issues, particularly around managing resident’s expectations.

– Research and presentations from Body Corporate Managers on how to design to enhance the value of Management Rights.

– Detailed interviews with Buyers Agents to establish what new residents to our sub-tropical city are actually looking for when considering which Inner-city Brisbane apartment to live in.

– A study into how well-used are the residents’ amenities and facilities that have been provided in apartment projects.

unit plan
We look forward to sharing our findings over the coming months, all which highlight the critical impact that client-driven design decisions have on the building’s long-term amenity, value, and quality of life for the occupants.