Australia's best designers team up for luxury Indooroopilly apartment development, Ethereal Residences

Rothelowman's approach to the architecture was simple, asking "What elements of the Queensland House can we re-interpret and apply to the apartment typology?"
Australia's best designers team up for luxury Indooroopilly apartment development, Ethereal Residences
Ethereal Residences in Indooroopilly. Image supplied
Joel Robinson November 15, 2021

The leafy Brisbane suburb of Indooroopilly is set for something rather special.

Three of Australia's best architecture and design firms have been enlisted by the local developer, North, to create the boutique apartment development, Ethereal Residences, a collection of just 46 apartments.

Rothelowman, Carr and FORM Landscape Architect, each arguably at the top of the pile in their respected crafts, have collaborated to create what will no doubt be one of the city's most in demand apartment projects.

Ethereal - defined as extremely delicate and light in a way that seems not to be of this world - terraces down the hillside to maximise outlook, orientation and privacy, with direct street frontage to Swann Road, Burns Street and Rennie Street.

North Managing Director, Scott Ginnivan, said the vision for Ethereal Residences is to deliver an exceptional standard of architecture to Brisbane’s inner west that celebrates its elevated position.

“For Ethereal Residences, we have brought together three highly respected design houses to create a concept worthy of its premium inner west location,” Ginnivan said.

“The site is surrounded by low density zoning and a beautiful, quintessentially Brisbane landscape and it was important to us that final design outcome was of a scale and design that complemented the area.

Rothelowman's approach to the architecture was simple, asking "What elements of the Queensland House can we re-interpret and apply to the apartment typology?"

The continuation of tower columns and wrapping of the balconies evokes the Queenslander vernacular of raised stilts and outdoor living.

"When people arrive to Ethereal, they'll feel it sits beautifully in the landscape," Rothelowman Principal Duncan Betts says.

"The greenness, the lushness of the established canopies, it's something that you don't get in new neighbourhoods - its something that takes 50 years to develop, and you just cant buy that context.

Betts said the topography presented an amazing opportunity, because all the apartments will have elevated views, with city views to the north and leafy vegetated suburban views to the south and south east.

"It's got generous connection with a verandah space - most apartments have a 270 degree aspect from their living dining kitchen which is a unique offering."

Betts added that people will appreciate the quality in the bespoke customised approach, through the balustrade details, the curvilinear, and the almost draped concrete.

Carr's Directer of Architecture, Chris McCue, who handled the interiors, said the material palette chosen - relates to colours and palette drawn literally form nature.

"In each of the schemes there's tone and texture, either through a dark scheme and a richness in materiality, or in the lighter scheme there's a sandy coloured texture and tonality that's consistent throughout the whole palette," McCue said.

He suggested that part of designing an apartment project in Brisbane is responding to the way light spills in to the building.

"Whether it be the porcelain or the timber floor, right through to the travertine, we really wanted to bring a consistency and a luxurious quality to the materials.

"We want to create thee beautiful serene environments and a lot of that comes to the interior design detail, scale and proportion of the spaces."

Matt Franzmann, who heads up FORM Landscaping, says the process of the collaboration between the three camps has really led to a cohesive design.

The vegetation and landscaping was one of the key factors in creating the suburban feel of the development, despite it being just seven kilometres to the CBD.

"There's a lot of native eucalyps that provide a very elevated vegetation," Franzmann said.

"We also get the seasonal colour like the Jacaranda's and the Poinciana's. The Lilly Pillies really provide that dense, green neighbourhood feel."

They brought in canopy trees and subtropical species like Philodendrons.

For the rooftop, Franzmann said they wanted to create a space where there are different opportunities to socialise, whether residents wanted to go up to the roof have a glass of wine, or meet up with a group of friends.

They surrounded the series of smaller courtyards on the ground level with vegetation to keep them private.

Colliers agent Andrew Roubicek is marketing Ethereal.

Ginnivan said Brisbane’s suburban property market has matured significantly in recent years and with this has come high expectations for design and value.

“Good architecture is all about authenticity and creating places where people want to live,” he said.

“The market’s expectations are high and there’s a maturity and appreciation for design that wasn’t here five years ago."

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is the Editor in Chief at, managing Urban's editorial team and creating the largest news cycle for the off the plan property market in the country. Joel has been writing about residential real estate for nearly a decade, following a degree in Business Management with a major in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University in England. He specializes in off the plan apartments, and has a particular interest in the development application process for new projects.

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