Lend Lease to Trial Micro Apartments in Melbourne

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Friday, July 10th, 2015
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Melbourne could soon be host to micro apartments whose floor spaces measure just half the minimum area required for residential units in other parts of Australia.

Property giant Lend Lease plans to bring ultra-compact residential spaces to Australia with the inclusion of a several “micro apartments” in the residential phase of its $1.5 billion Melbourne Quarter development.

The proposal submitted by Lend Lease for a trio of residential towers in the Batman’s Hill section of Docklands includes plans for a set of ultra-small apartments whose floor spaces will measure between 25 to 33 square metres.

That means the smallest of these micro apartments will be host to an area equivalent to just half the minimum amount of floor space permitted for residential units developed in Sydney, which is currently 50 square metres.

The residential phase of the Melbourne Quarter development encompasses two 40-storey apartment towers situated on Flinders Street as well as a third 18-storey apartment, for a total of 1600 new units.

In addition to the trial micro-apartments the three residential towers will also contain a variety of one, two and three bedroom units whose average floor space will be 62 square metres.

Melbourne Quarter, situated in the Docklands precinct at the border of old city grid, is expected to eventually host a total of seven towers, with Lend Lease already submitting its proposal for a $250 million commercial high-rise building.

Lend Lease’s plans for the launch of the new micro dwellings arrives just as the Victorian government mulls the introduction of the state’s first apartment design guidelines to combat prevalence of cramped, low-quality housing within the state.

Calls have emerged for the new guidelines to include a minimum floor space requirement of at least 50 square metres, in order to place apartment dimensions in Victoria on par with other parts of Australia.

Other planning and design experts contend that however, that the guidelines should focus more on adaptable, performance-related criteria as opposed to setting inflexible benchmarks for various aspects of apartment design.

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