Nine High sets a new design benchmark

Nine High Hero Shot. © Kincaid Projects
Nine High Hero Shot. © Kincaid Projects

Located at the juncture of Thornbury and Preston, and occupying the site address of 9 High Street from which the project derives its name, Nine High is an 8-storey development of 68 apartments by Kincaid Projects and Optimus Developments.

Sitting on the crest of Thornbury Hill with views down High Street, Nine High is a custom designed residential development that seeks to create a sense of place by embracing the rapidly gentrifying Thornbury community. According to the development team the location as a destination is critical to ensuring the project's success in addition to providing a quality product.

Those familiar with the rapidly changing face of the area will be aware of the distinct lack of design character shown by the majority of recent apartment developments completed nearby; something which Kincaid Projects and Optimus Developments have sought to address.

Nine High is a collaboration between Kincaid's in-house designer Joel Martin with Eades & Bergman's Wendy Bergman casting her eye over the interior specifications and layouts. Best known as the designer for some of Melbourne's newest hip eateries such as Kong or Meaball & Winebar, Wendy has sought to flood apartments with natural light via a series of atriums and lightwells which puncture the building's volume.

The project team envisions Nine High becoming a benchmark building for the area and an architectural statement with its refined angles expressed in contemporary materials such as off-form concrete, Modwood Soffits, Alucobond cladding and black and gold metallic screens. The building's facade is animated via these operable screens which gives the exterior a kinetic rather than static quality.

The introduction of vegetation to the facade is designed to bring with it a sense of colour and vibrancy and soften the structure while contributing to resident wellbeing.

Our design vision for Nine High was to create apartments where people can feel connected and develop their own sense of place. We've worked creatively with proportions, angles and materials, filled it with natural light and vegetation.

We believe our use of lush greenery, attractive materials and an elegant colour palette will raise the bar in Thornbury.

Joel Martin, Designer, Kincaid Projects

Designed to be both versatile and functional, Nine High's apartments feature open plan, free flowing living configurations, customised fittings, a feature double-sized pantry and extra large balconies for entertaining, plus garden areas an landscaping designed by Urban Edge. Additionally storage cages are located conveniently on the same floors as apartments rather than with the parking areas.

Nine High sets a new design benchmark
Nine High Interior. Image courtesy Kincaid Projects

Kitchens are arranged in a u-configuration and feature dual purpose benchtops which also act as dining tables reducing the requirement for a separate dining table. The apartments also feature other artisenal detailing in the form of custom-made metal pocket shelving within the bathrooms, bento box-inspired vanity tops and wine rack storage in kitchens.

The 68 apartments consist of one, two and three bedroom options with prices starting at $299,000 for a one bedroom apartment to $450,000 for two bedrooms which translates to a rate of $7,500 per square metre. Two retail tenancies will be located at ground level taking advantage of the City of Darebin's streetscape improvement plans for High Street which sees the reduction in number of traffic lanes and provision of bicycle lanes in lieu.

Nine High sets a new design benchmark
High Street improvement works. Courtesy City of Darebin.

What they say

We chose to develop Nine High in the heart of Thornbury-Preston as this is a vibrant part of Melbourne. With its proximity to the city, public transport and High Street's eclectic shops, this strip is full of enterprising young creatives that share our appreciation for this area.

We want to be a part of what's happening, and we're really excited by our vision for Nine High. It's not just another apartment building; it's a unique beautifully designed space that will be a joy to live in, and we're proud to put our names to it.

Kris Burt, Director Kincaid Projects

Nine High is exactly the right match for us. A project that is not only tempting for the investor's eye, but more importantly a place we, ourselves, would also enjoy calling home. First of all, the location of the rapidly gentrifying Preston-Thornbury area is perfect. On my first site visit I was immediately amazed by the bustling, lively strip of High Street, full of little cafes and shops, just a stone's throw from Nine High.

Second, the building itself is outstanding, with an exterior that will attract the attention of any passer-by, and a beautiful interior design that will fulfill all expectations of even the most discerning buyers. Nine High is so much more than just a great project and we are extremely proud to be involved in its creation.

Andrew Karpati, CEO Optimus Developments

The project has already been well received before its official launch. Onsite hoardings have generated a lot of interest from potential buyers with 60 inquiries being fielded and 10 apartments being reserved over a two day period.

Nine High from The Bowery Collective on Vimeo.

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.

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Kincaid Projects Optimus Developments Preston

Comments (5)

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CCC
Actually 8 minute walk to Thornbury Station then 21 minutes to Flinders St, assuming no wait time, but you could add another 10 mins easily, so slightly quicker by train.
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George D
"ONLY 45 minutes by tram from the GPO!"

You do realise this location is a couple of minutes walk to a train station?
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Duncan McPherson's picture
Could I say too that that bit (i.e. the conjunction of High St, Plenty Rd and Dundas St), while it WAS pretty 'orrible, is and will be a ghetto of poorly-constructed and designed apartments and ONLY 45 minutes by tram from the GPO!
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Jon McLeod's picture
"... the distinct lack of design character shown by the majority of recent apartment developments completed nearby"

No kidding. In past, Darebin Council (safe seat territory) waved through a huge number of insulting, offensive, brutalistic, callous, dehumanising, toxic, over-built, concrete bomb shelters. Everyone involved in those projects - developers and politicians - should be ashamed. Hopefully the new Council can stop Darebin from becoming a dumping ground for bad design and bad architecture.
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Duncan McPherson's picture
I DO love a tirade! I'm in Alphington; wedged between Darebin, Banyule and Yarra and the planning and proposals along Heidelberg Road are astonishingly awful. All three councils appear to be outdoing each other for gross and urban-fabric-destroying monstrosities. The former AMCOR site, while an atrocious overreach, (almost) appears modest and sane compared with the other developments proposed, in planning or being built.
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