North Melbourne Collective: advertised design

2017 May 24
by Tim Riley

We recently concluded advertising for our 8 townhouse project in Gardiner St North Melbourne. The orientation and access to the site allowed us to design an efficient scheme featuring townhouses of approximately 135 sqm of gross floor area over 4 storeys and sizable roof decks.

6-10 Gardiner Street North Melbourne - view from south east

6-10 Gardiner Street North Melbourne – view from south east

In keeping with the heritage nature of the area (and a bit of a current personal obsession with brickwork patterning), we decided to introduce a banded brickwork pattern around the lower two storeys of the building.

To maximise the amenity of the 425 sqm site we have decreased the site coverage of the current warehouse to allow us to incorporate rear courtyards into all the units. We did this to ensure that all four floors have good access to light. To improve the amenity of the ground floor we consolidated the 8 rear courtyards into two grouped areas. We will also soften these areas through the use of planter boxes and plantings. External spiral staircases to access the roof decks made of perforated metal were also chosen to allow as much light in as possible.

Excitingly we are exploring the possibility of using cross laminated timbers (CLT) for part of the structure.

Northcote Collective – Clarke Street construction commences

2017 May 24
by Tim Riley

I’m glad to report that the build on our 7 townhouse project in Northcote is well underway. After some late planning challenges were resolved we demolished before Christmas and construction commenced in March. Before getting hit by the wettest April in the last 16 years.



So the final chapter of the Stella Gunnery has ended. Thanks very much to my cousin Tom and housemates for giving the Gunnery such a sensational send off.

The next chapter for 121 Clarke Street Northcote, might be a little less salubrious but hopefully just as colourful and celebratory…



The Next Collective – be a partner in our next property development

2017 May 24
by Tim Riley

Interested in joining a joint venture property development project? We are looking for partners to be part of our next collective.

Next Collective - JV development opportunity

We are currently looking for joint venture partners for 5-8 townhouse projects in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. Our vision is to create developments with architectural and environmental integrity that deliver real financial and social capital for all members of the collective. We want to create a rewarding shared experiences and an end product that we can all be proud of. To achieve this we want partners that are committed to sharing, to openness and collaboration. From a financial perspective each partner in the next collective would require:

  • Capital or equity contribution of between $250-$300k spread over the 2.5-3 year life of the project. The exact amount will depend on the location of the site we secure and the scale of the project.
  • Ability to service a mortgage of around $550k-$650k at completion of the project – partners will need to service take out finance secured against their individual townhouse as these funds will be used to settle the construction loan.

We will be targeting a project with individual townhouse end values in the range of $900k-$1.2m. Our experience is in joint venture infill developments of between 5 and 8 units. We are currently working on projects in Northcote, Thornbury, West Melbourne & North Melbourne. Our most recent completed project is a 4 townhouse  project in Northcote.

Find out more

To find out more about the Next Collective, including the locations we will be targeting, forecast timing, the financial parameters and more detailed information on how the joint venture is structured and how it will be managed, complete the form below to express your interest and receive a copy of our The Next Collective information pack.

* indicates required field

Powered by Fast Secure Contact Form


West Melbourne collective: final design

2017 May 22
by Tim Riley

We recently submitted our RFI response to Council for our 8 townhouse project in Ireland Street in West Melbourne. Comprising eight 3 bedroom townhouses over four storeys above a basement car park, each townhouse features around 115 sqm of gross floor area, 2 bathrooms and two floors of living space including a top floor balcony which will afford city views for 7 of the 8 dwellings.

Render of view from north east

Render of view from north east

The scheme has been perhaps the most challenging of all our recent projects. The main challenge was the highly irregular shape of the small 410 sqm site.

The design response resulted in the 8 partners deciding to decrease the site coverage from 100% to 78%. This allowed us to run a pedestrian path along the eastern boundary to connect Ireland St to Tait Lane that runs off Adderley St, and provide a communal courtyard space to the west which can be directly accessed by five of the eight townhouses.

Decreasing the site coverage in this way allowed us to provide direct light access to two facades of each unit which has dramatically increased the amenity for each of the units.

Of all our current projects this is probably the starkest example of how this collaborative development model differs from the traditional development model. Because all the partners are the future owners of the townhouses, we are focused on the long term and truly focused on the amenity of the dwellings. So we can collectively make design decisions that another purely for profit developer would not.

The floor plans for all the units have been standardised as much as possible to reduce construction costs and an internal void linking the two living areas enhances the feeling of space inside the floor plates. The external elevations include timber cladding and patterned tile entrances and we have opted for cement sheeting and steel cladding elsewhere to keep the structure as light as possible.

Architecture Australia magazine: Deliberative development models & finance

2017 April 3
by Tim Riley

The January/February issue of Architecture Australia magazine features an article from Andrea Sharam of RMIT University which chronicles the financial challenges six different local deliberative development projects have faced from the early 1980s through to now.

AA Cover

Some of the projects featured include the Commons in Brunswick, Rosetti Architect’s Cremorne townhouses, James Legge’s Heller Street Brunswick project and our own Saint George Collective project in Northcote.

Click here to read a copy of the piece.

AA article

Collective # 7 – StKilda project launch

2017 February 27
by Tim Riley

It’s taken a little while for us to secure a site south of the river, but we are very pleased to announce the launch of our latest project at 60 Barkly Street St Kilda.

For the second year running (last Christmas we bought 11-17 Ireland Street West Melbourne) we managed to purchase a site just before Christmas. So while everyone was winding down for the holidays we were busy kicking off our seventh collaborative development.

Situated on the eastern side of Barkly Street before the dip toward the Inkerman St and Grey St intersection, the elevated nature of the 655m2 site will afford bay views to the south from the upper storeys overlooking St Kilda and Elwood.  The property also abuts an upgraded public park on Waterloo Street which added to the appeal.

Our strategy is to develop 7 x 3 bedroom three storey townhouses on the property. A task we anticipate will be made slightly easier by an existing permit for 16 apartments over 3 levels which was approved with over 80% site coverage.

If you are interested there is still an opportunity to join this project.

Please contact me on 0407 846 965 or to find out more.

Barkly image

Collective # 6 launches – Union Street Brunswick

2017 January 16
by Tim Riley

I’m pleased to announce the launch of our sixth townhouse joint venture with the purchase in July last year of 2 Union Street Brunswick, only 50 metres from Sydney Road with Jewel train station a little over 150m away.

Our newest collective purchased the 365 m2 property at auction and our strategy is to build 6 dwellings on the site, five four level 3-bedroom townhouses on the property and a three level residence with ground floor office on Union Street. The five rear townhouses will all be on compact circa 50 sqm lots over four levels with 3 beds, 2 baths and 1 car park.

The site has laneway right of ways along the eastern and northern boundary, which will make for great access and light, but also give the site a bit of a gritty Dickensian context, with views to the rear of the old red brick Victorian shops along Sydney Road and the tops of the Brunswick Uniting Church spires further up Sydney Road.

The property came with plans and permits for 10 small apartments and ground floor retail. We have started the process of re-designing the scheme and are planning to lodge our new application in February.

Union Street - Early concept - north east elevation

Union Street Brunswick: Early concept – north east elevation

While this project already has its full complement of partners, if you are interested in finding out about upcoming projects please feel free to get in touch.

From Berlin to Melbourne: Residents Shaping their Cities – Assemble Papers

2016 October 25
by Tim Riley

Our friends at Assemble Papers recently launched their sixth print issue, Future Local.

This issue includes a great piece by urban designer & planner Katherine Sundermann. Katherine looks at the Nightingale and Property Collectives development models, the benefits that alternative development models can deliver to residents and the wider community and the parallels to Germany’s baugruppen.

At some point I’d like to spend some time looking at why it is Melbourne, and in particularly why the inner north of Melbourne, that has been the fertile ground for the emergence of these alternative forms of development. I’d include WestWyck and Urban Coop in this list as well. There must be something about Melbourne’s culture, its property market and its water that makes it the nation’s capital for deliberative development. A great research piece for a keen undergrad or post-grad student…!

Please click here to read the article



The Gardiner Street Collective: North Melbourne 8 townhouse project launches

2016 August 3
by Tim Riley

I’m very excited to announce the launch of our fifth townhouse joint venture with the purchase in May of 6-10 Gardiner Street North Melbourne.

Our newest collective purchased the 425m2 site off-market with an 18 month settlement period. Our plan is to build eight four level 3-bedroom townhouses on the property.

The site is three blocks from the Vic Market and bounded on the south by Gardiner Street, on the west by St Andrews St and on the east by Warwick St. The great access means we will pursue a scheme with on grade car parking and the 14m height limit means that, similar to our Ireland St project, the townhouses will all be on compact circa 50 sqm lots over four levels with 3 beds, 2 baths, 1 car park and a roof deck.

While this project already has its full complement of partners, if you are interested in finding out about upcoming projects please feel free to get in touch.

IMG_8067_Gardiner St

IMG_8065_Gardiner St

IMG_8066_Gardiner St

The Strettle Street Collective: final design for Thornbury 6 townhouse project

2016 February 17
by Tim Riley

Our project near Merri Creek in Thornbury features six double-storey townhouses of around 130 sqm of living. Measuring around 1430 sqm with a 20 metre frontage and 70 metre length, the most exciting thing about the site is its elevated position. Sitting close to the top of McComas Hill with a east – west orientation, the site has sweeping views to the south towards the city.

16_05_16_strettle_Final Roof render

The Pillar+Post design responds to the site context and client brief in a number of ways.

The collective wanted roof decks to ensure the Merri Creek parkland and city views are optimised. To keep the dwellings within the height limit, maximise views and prevent overlooking, Pillar+Post nestled the roof decks within the skillion roof lines of the rear dwellings and the front dwelling which features a quarter hip roof line to maintain neighbourhood character to the street.

The buildings themselves have been designed with an eye to simplicity in construction. The modern box-like rectangular forms are softened by not only the selection of recycled cream clinkers in a nod to the numerous 1930s- 1950s clinker brick dwellings in the area, but the use of intricate brickwork patterning on the east and west elevations. The brickwork patterning provides visual interest and a segue to the perforated brick wall on the front unit, which provides this dwelling with secluded private open space and a seemless integration with it’s front garden.

Architectural horizontal timber screening to the north and south elevations provide a practical and sculptural solution to overlooking and shading, while the site’s east-west orientation has allowed us to provide generous courtyards to maximise northern private open space and enhance the amenity of the ground floor living spaces.

Advertising is due to commence within a fortnight. We have worked extensively with Darebin City Council to ensure we responded to their issues so we now hope the community gives us some positive feedback to the application.