17 May 2018 / News
Q&A with Brinn Tavener

How would you describe ICON’s approach to property development?

ICON’s approach to development focuses on ‘design led’ projects in the inner and middle ring suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney. ICON will develop projects as small as 12 luxury townhouses, all the way up to large commercial and apartment projects.

The architecture and interior design is key to each of ICON’s projects. Not only do our projects need to make commercial sense, they also need to be something that we would be proud to live/work in ourselves. We are seeing an increasing trend of people choosing to live in apartments for longer, making good design and amenity essential.

Why is collaboration such an important value to the ICON team?

With a focus on design, ICON has partnered with some of Australia’s leading architectural firms. Wood Marsh, MA Architects, Powell & Glenn, Carr Design, Fieldwork and SJB have all worked collaboratively with ICON to design and deliver projects that we can be proud of. We’ll continue to work with established brand names but also younger, up and coming, firms to ensure that we are on the leading edge of design.

ICON also partners with other likeminded developers who share the same commitment to deliver design-focused projects. Current partnerships include Beams Projects on the Farmer Cutter and Swan apartment project and Assemble & Wulff Projects on the 122 Roseneath Street project in Clifton Hill.

Do you see the industry as a whole moving towards design-led projects? If so, what does this mean for the Australian property market?

Over the past 5-10 years we have seen the emergence of a much greater emphasis on design by developers. This is a result of two main reasons:

  1. Purchasers have a much wider choice of opportunities now and therefore they are pickier and demand more from developers.
  2. The quality of architecture is being recognised as a key driver for planning approval outcome. Councils are putting more emphasis on design to ensure the developments in their electorate provide positive outcomes for the community.

We’ll continue to see design as a key point of any new project being developed.

ICON Developments has just received approval for its architecturally designed office building on Church Street, Cremorne. What does this mean for Melbourne’s inner city office market and what will the development mean for the area?

600 Church Street will be a game changer for Cremorne. It’s not only designed by award winning and one of Australia’s best architecture firms, Wood Marsh, it will also deliver the next generation of large floor plate office space, which up until recently hasn’t been offered in Cremorne.

The emergence of large office floor plates will enable larger occupiers who would have previously only looked at the CBD to make the move to the Cremorne market and take advantage of the area’s proximity to public transport, established retail and parkland.

How did ICON effectively work with the City of Yarra to refine the building’s design?

ICON are not only developers in the city of Yarra but we have also been an established business in Cremorne for 20 years. Our strong working relationship with the City of Yarra enabled us to work through initial questions Council had with the preliminary design and then deliver a final design that met the Council’s intent. This was to make the site a significant architectural statement that defines the gateway into Cremorne from a previously industrial area into a thriving employment hub.

The City of Yarra’s commitment to Cremorne to become a major employment precinct will continue to see more and more developments in the area.

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