Published 27 June on Urban.com.au
Golden Age has appointed Figurehead Construction to construct its second Glen Waverley project, Floret.
Figurehead have already kicked off construction of the 77-townhouse project on Ferntree Gully Road, which was approved by the local council just over a year ago.
Golden Age has sold 80 per cent of its Stage 1 release with new park front lots brought forward to cater to demand. Within a day of release, 40 per cent were snapped up, demonstrating the need for architecturally-designed townhomes in the growing suburb.
Designed by leading architectural firm Rothelowman, the Floret townhomes are designed to be sensitive to the site’s existing context, while capitalising on an opportunity to deliver an outstanding architectural response that will set a new standard for townhouses within the area.
“Their commitment to a conservative and robust design and delivery model aligns with our obligation to our key stakeholders, the end users of our product," Grasso said.
“Figurehead Construction has specialised in the delivery of townhomes since its inception in 2007, and for us, it’s important in this challenging climate that we partner with a reputable team, and take on projects we have a track record of delivering to a high standard."
Golden Age Founder and Managing Director Jeff Xu said Figurehead Construction is known for producing results of the highest calibre, something Golden Age Group strives for in the final product of their developments.
“Figurehead has an extensive and diverse portfolio of more than 100 completed projects, all with unwavering quality," Xu said
"Collectively, we are eager to deliver a thorough and proactive approach to this project as it is one that will lift the standard within the area."
By using the same architecture and landscape team (Aspect Studios) as Sky Garden, Golden Age's first project in Glen Waverley above The Glen Shopping Centre, Golden Age’s project will seek to put the community at the heart, offering an array of resident amenities, complemented by extensive gardens in a secure neighbourhood that is ideal for raising families.
The layouts of each townhouse are conducive to multi-generational living with ensuite ground-level bedrooms featuring courtyard access for greater privacy, while the kitchen and living areas serve as connection points.
In response to post-pandemic lifestyles which see more professionals working from home, the three-level townhouses offer much-needed separation from the ground-floor offices and higher-level living areas.
Construction is scheduled for completion in Q1 2025.
Driven by leading pedagogical research and innovation, The Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES) supports high-achieving Victorian government secondary school students with state-of-the-art learning spaces, specialist facilities and leading expertise, offering a unique pathway for students to transition from secondary to tertiary studies.
Designed by Fieldwork and Brand Architects for the Victorian School Building Authority, CHES is set amongst the dense urban fabric of Melbourne’s South Yarra, on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong peoples of the East Kulin Nations. The challenging site, sleeved between high-rise buildings to the north and south, drove Fieldwork and Brand Architects to explore innovative ways to connect students with natural light, ventilation and landscape to improve learning outcomes — a pursuit developed in consultation with Dr Ben Cleveland, Associate Professor in Learning Environments and Co-Director of LEaRN at Melbourne School of Design.
CHES is set amongst the dense urban fabric of Melbourne’s South Yarra: this site presented a challenge, being sleeved between buildings with a high-rise to the south. Innovation in both design and construction was required to deliver this first-of-its-kind learning facility. With a high-rise building on the title boundary, authority easements surrounding the site and high voltage powerlines along the Chapel Street frontage, this project was certainly not short of its challenges to be overcome.
From early sketch design phase, the concept of integrating a central atrium was critical in unlocking the potential of the site, drawing natural light deep into the narrow site and ensuring each learning space has equitable amenity. A public interface to Chapel Street is fostered with a corrugated, pre-cast concrete façade, animated with planter boxes of cascading greenery, “so the views out have a foreground of landscape,” explains Fieldwork Co-Director, Quino Holland. Upon entry, movement is directed through a large lobby space, into a foyer, reception area and café space — an active hub for students and the community to be welcomed, socialise, and engage in private or small group work, set against the vibrancy of the atrium beyond.
Located at the heart of the building, a hybrid timber and aluminium Raico glazing system presents as an all-timber facade spanning from ground floor to roof level, drawing natural light deep into the narrow site and ensuring each learning space has equitable amenity. The Ground Floor multi-purpose spaces accommodate the transition of incoming and existing groups, as well as providing pedagogical settings not offered in the learning neighborhoods above.
Landscaped with lush ferns and epiphytes by long-term collaborators, Openwork, this vertical volume is lined with sustainably harvested Victorian Ash timber and glazed windows. As the heart of the building, “the atrium gives a sense of the whole building’s energy — the movement through the staircases and glimpses into the activity of the classrooms,” says Quino. The space is covered by a transparent and lightweight ETFE inflatable roof, which requires less structural support than traditional glazed roofs and provides effective light control and thermal insulation. The dotted, double-skin membrane casts ephemeral, patterned shadows through the atrium, connecting students with natural circadian rhythms.
Roofing to the Atrium is a state-of-the-art Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) inflatable roof system imported from Germany. The ETFE roofing system is linked to the building’s BMS system effectively controlling the amount of light in the building whilst also providing thermal insulation to the open atrium space below.
A 275-seat auditorium allows the student cohort to gather for lectures and presentations, and provides a facility for community events. When the curtains are drawn back, the space is united with a west-facing landscaped terrace with curved seating, connecting CHES to the adjacent Melbourne High School.
“The architecture enables students to be passionate, innovative and creative by promoting meaningful dialogue between staff and students, fostering a sense of ownership through flexible and varied learning settings.” says Farnia Askari, Co-Director of Brand Architects. Students can often be seen clustered around the teacher in tight discussion groups, while at other times, they can sprawl through the open space into adjacent small groups or break-out nooks. The educational planning of the facility enables multiple organisational and pedagogical modes to occur and evolve over time, supported by the principle of “variety and choice.”
The floor plan is mirrored on each side of the atrium, allowing each learning environment to benefit from views to nature — either from the atrium or across Chapel Street or the western terrace — improving learning outcomes and developing students’ observational relationships with ecology. State-of-the-art audio-visual facilities are embedded in all learning spaces to allow for virtual and hybrid learning from anywhere in the state.
Throughout, Fieldwork and Brand Architects sought to make the architecture an educational tool in itself. “We wanted to be open about how the building is constructed, and how the materials and systems are put together,” says Quino. As such, CHES’ hybridised structure, combining laminated timber and concrete to reduce embedded carbon, is left exposed, allowing students to observe the tectonics of the architecture. Galvanized ductwork, electrical systems and fixings details are also visibly expressed, becoming tools for teaching and discussion.
In keeping with the facility’s mission to prepare students for tertiary study, Fieldwork and Brand Architects embraced natural colours, materials, and textures that give the space an honest and sophisticated expression. The building’s extensive use of timber is complemented by compressed fibre-cement wall panels and ‘Woodwool’ ceiling infills, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for teaching and learning. Resilient floors and carpets in nature-inspired tones change in colour from level to level, subtly orienting students across the building. CHES’ top floor offers separate student and teacher break-out spaces and an extensive outdoor terrace for outdoor learning and recreation. A pergola structure is topped with solar panels, creating shade while generating power to feed back into the building’s electrical grid.
CHES sets a new benchmark for pre-tertiary educational facilities in Australia, testament to the design team’s rigorous engagement and implementation of leading pedagogical research. Fieldwork’s initial vision was preserved by Brand Architects in the project’s seamless execution, delivering progressive teaching and learning environments that fuse connections to nature with incidental opportunities of learning and development — ultimately, supporting the tertiary ambitions of CHES’ talented student cohort.
Rethinking the Beach House: Architectural Marina Apartments
The Beach House is loved for providing relaxation, escape, and a place to connect with loved ones and nature–but they can be extravagant and require constant upkeep. This was the experience that inspired Osprey Apartments: a collaboration between Figurehead Construction and Wolveridge Architects.
Two and Three-bedroom coastal apartments with secure parking and storage options, lift access, and maintained gardens offer Osprey residents their own piece of breathtaking architecture and landscape, without personal toll.
An exciting feature of these apartments is the ‘lightwell breezeway’ entrances to each of the boutique apartments. This architectural technique provides crossflow ventilation and access to natural light–as well as a place for shoes and towels, at the same time preserving security.
“We wanted to offer Martha Cove apartments that utilise sophisticated design and construction practices to feel light, bright, and use space better. Quality architecture shouldn’t be reserved for oversized homes only,” says Joe Grasso, Founder and Managing Director of Figurehead Group, developer and builder at Osprey, Martha Cove.
Figurehead are an industry-leading builder with a reputation for delivering award-winning outcomes of exceptional quality, including Martha Cove’s The Moorings, Wheelhouse, and two Boat Storage Facilities for Boatyard by d’Albora.
For more information on Osprey Coastal apartments, from $865K-1.6M.
Contact Ian Ross: 0404868470
Figurehead Construction have achieved the Australian Government’s certification as a Climate Active Organisation.
“Our business employs 70 people and is responsible for circa $100million of construction projects each year including residential, commercial, industrial and government; but our entire team is motivated to help our community beyond those buildings,” said Joe Grasso, Figurehead Group Founder & Managing Director.
Acknowledging the construction industry’s impact on the environment and wanting to do better – Figurehead have spent the last 24 months undergoing emissions testing and assessment and investing in adequate offsets to achieve Climate Active Carbon Neutral Organisation status.
“We believe it’s the right thing to do, and hope that the rest of our industry follow suit,” Joe continues.
What is Climate Active?
Certification under Climate Active is made by the Australian Government against best practice carbon accounting standards and remains the most robust measure to publicly disclose carbon neutrality in Australia.
“We engaged Energy Consultants ARUP to provide advice on how to start this process – and Climate Active was the most reputable way to understand our impact and ultimately do better,” he says.
From offsetting to reductions: calls for major change in construction
Reducing emissions in the construction industry is complex, with supply and manufacturing of materials a key contributor.
Building and construction are responsible for 39% of all carbon emissions in the world, (including manufacturing of materials); emphasising incredible opportunity in this sector.
Construction industry volatility, “particularly around increasing costs to our supply chain, which has been shaken by international events creates real risk for builders,” Grasso says, “you only have to Google Australian Construction Industry to see the challenges we are facing today,” he continues.
“Addressing climate change can seem far less urgent than pure survival, so you can see why builders might be resistant. Our team are passionate that we need to do something about this right now, from junior to senior staff.”
“We need to start somewhere. Offsetting our impact and encouraging subcontractors to use materials more efficiently, reusing and recycling products as well as minimising waste is within our direct control right now, and that’s what is important to Figurehead,” he said.
Limiting climate change will require major transitions, critically analysing the way we build, and having Government support to assist with supply chain issues and encourage production of sustainable materials that are economically viable.
For basic materials, including steel, building materials and chemicals, low- to zero-greenhouse gas production processes are at pilot stage, so it will take some time to become viable and economical for the industry to utilise, given the importance of Australian building and safety standards.
Achieving Sustainable Development Goals
Accelerated and equitable climate action in mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts is critical to sustainable development.
116 Rokeby is a symbol of Figurehead’s recognition of the urgency and ongoing requirements for a more sustainable future, and its enduring commitment to deliver high-quality architecture that minimises its environmental impact.
Inspired by the Traditional Owners of the land, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung, and their prevailing commitment to sustainability, this benchmark project harnesses Wurundjeri Elder, Uncle Bill Nicholson’s powerful mantra, “not harming so much”.
From the outset, Figurehead has worked closely with ARUP — experts in sustainable development — to define a building concept that has the capability to meet and exceed the latest building design and performance standards for a mixed-mode building.
“This has been one of my favourite projects in recent years, with a beautiful outcome that delivers an all-electric, double skinned, mixed-mode, zero carbon in operation boutique office building.”– Richard Stokes, Sustainable Buildings Leader, ARUP
In addition to environmental impact and sustainability, impact on the traditional owners of the land has been a consideration Figurehead, who commenced cultural awareness training for staff and will proudly display an Aboriginal art commission in consultation with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.
“Representing the traditional owners of the land we are developing at 116 Rokeby reinforces our purpose to consider all aspects of the building,” says Figurehead Property Investments Manager Joe Allman, “involving Elders and making a permanent statement of respect and inclusion for future generations of First Nations people is another way to create a positive impact at our future office,” he said.
The art commission will be a collaboration between Lowell Hunter and Gerard Black in consultation with Uncle Bill Nicholson of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.
116 Rokeby has commenced construction by Figurehead Construction in Collingwood with completion targeted for early 2024.
Located in an emerging pocket of thriving Collingwood, 116 Rokeby, an 11-level office building has been designed exclusively for design, property and construction companies who share a passion for premium spaces and a commitment to considered impact.
An understanding of the changing needs of an office building informed the Carr design of ‘a breathing space,’ where work, sustainability and lifestyle converge. The “vertical village” at 116 Rokeby features a communal rooftop with kitchen and ground floor café offering, and premium end-of-trip facilities redefine the role of the office to create a series of flexible spaces for changing needs of office workers.
“We’ve created a building that deeply considers work-life integration,” explains Rebecca Trenorden, Carr Associate Director.
“One of the main things COVID showed us is the deep need for social connection and great amenities, and this ability to have a building community where likeminded tenants share a space that’s so connected is very rare.”
Figurehead Group are the developer and builder of 116 Rokeby, with Figurehead and Flux Construction teams set to occupy two floors of the building.
Joe Grasso, Founder and Managing Director, Figurehead Group has a vision for the building to become a hub for like-minded professionals who appreciate design and innovation.
“We want the space to be inspiring, and motivate people to come and do their best work,” Joe says.
“Our business is focused on continuous improvement, ensuring we produce a product that’s the absolute best in market.
116 Rokeby is a part of this story, and the building features spaces to support innovation and ensure the office is a great place to work.”
Sustainability and Innovation
Sustainability has been deeply considered in every aspect of 116 Rokeby — inside and out — to set a new benchmark in environmental and wellness credentials in this emerging commercial precinct. Targeting Platinum WELL™, 5.5-Star NABERS and Climate Active Carbon Neutral Building Certification, 116 Rokeby is an exemplar of how considered design can have a positive impact on the environment and the people that interact with the space.
A key inclusion is the double-skin northern façade. An exemplar of both form and function, utilising automatic sensor-controlled blinds and a plenum to perform an impactful chimney stack effect with great impact on energy saving. It naturally heats and cools the building, whilst improving internal amenity through clear glazing and an abundance of natural light.
“The diaphanous northern façade at 116 Rokeby has environmental sustainability innovation at its core,” says Stephen McGarry, Carr Associate Director.
First Nations Collaboration
Another first, 116 Rokeby will also have a commissioned artwork imprinted into the concrete southern façade as a respectful acknowledgment of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people and a representation of Figurehead’s journey and commitment to reconciliation. The artwork, ‘Reflections of a Breathing Space’, is a collaboration by two First Nations artists: NAIDOC Creative Talent of the Year in 2022, sand artist, Lowell Hunter, and painter, illustrator and digital artist, Gerard Black.
"The intention of this artwork is to respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of this land, of which 116 Rokeby St Collingwood resides upon today,” First Nations Sand Artist Lowell Hunter says of the artwork collaboration with Figurehead.
“By committing to working respectfully with First Nations people you start to develop a deeper sense of the rich and strong culture that exists within our communities - this is something that we should all embrace and be proud of,” he continues.
Construction at 116 Rokeby has commenced; with completion due in early 2024.
There will be seven floors available for lease; details available via request at 116rokeby.com.au