Activate (2000 - present)
Adelaide’s historic first ‘brownfields’ residential development involved the remediation of the City Council’s industrial works depot and construction of 240 new townhouses and apartments on the 2.2-hectare site in the heart of the City. The Council sold the site to developer Pentroth in 2000 and, following a $7-million remediation to the satisfaction of the Environmental Protection Agency, construction beganof the large-scale residential complex. Following the initial development stage, Tectvs and associated medium-density development specialists joined the project and established a template for the development that was so successful, the remaining stages were predominantly sold off the plan.
Tectvs’s first input was at the conceptual stage of how the project would take shape after the initial ‘marketing’ dwellings were built. It was involved in the master planning and development of a staged construction program, including heritage planning for the conversion of the old city incinerator and related structures into the now landmark The Greek on Halifax café-restaurant. Other elements of the master plan included provision of community and public housing and common space.
This gave impetus to early sales inquiries but the key to the subsequent dramatic upswing in demand experienced by the developer was the fresh and openly contemporary design template Tectvs created for a selection of price and accommodation levels for two and three-bedroom townhouses and apartments. It tapped into the young professional buyer market and, as well, caught the imagination of the swelling older ‘empty nester’ market looking for a reason to leave their large suburban homes and reinvent themselves in the convenience of the inner city.
The $45-million three-stage development was completed in 2005, well ahead of schedule, and its success has been promoted both anecdotally by the enthusiasm of it’s largely owner-occupants and statistically by the significant premiums enjoyed on - sometimes successive resales. Such a large urban-infill project was a new frontier for developer and buyer alike in Adelaide at the beginning of a new century. Tectvs provided the catalyst for success by having the confidence to apply lessons learned on earlier groundbreaking medium-density residential projects in inner-suburban and inner-city locations on a boutique scale. The Halifax development evolved as a series of boutique clusters seamlessly linked by scale and contemporary design and materiality. Its largest and highest-density component was five-storey Lumiere, a 65-apartment building with a private roof-top swimming pool and entertainment area, providing residents with a communal space and a break from the confines of apartment living.
Lumiere was also designed according to sustainable design principles which were not a requirement of the time and which, even many years after completion, made it one of the most advanced buildings of its type in Adelaide.