"A return to South Yarra grandeur and refinement": How SJB designed South Yarra House

Every aspect of South Yarra House pays homage to the past while embracing the present
"A return to South Yarra grandeur and refinement": How SJB designed South Yarra House
Alison Warters July 6, 2023ARCHITECTURE

South Yarra, Melbourne's prestigious neighbourhood, is soon to welcome a new architectural gem, South Yarra House.

Developed by Wattletree in a joint venture with Dorman Capital, the project aims to seamlessly blend heritage elements with contemporary design.

In a collaborative effort between SJB and Hecker Guthrie South Yarra House will deliver a mix of two, three and four-bedroom apartments, with SJB saying the project is a return to South Yarra grandeur and refinement. 

"South Yarra House takes subtle cues from its surrounds, and the heritage buildings dotted throughout, and blends it with a modernist sensibility to create an outcome of clarity, elegance and distinction," SJB said.

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The project has just 58 apartments, a stark comparison to other high-rise towers in South Yarra. Other towers of the same height tend to home over 150 units.

Every aspect of South Yarra House pays homage to the past while embracing the present.

From the ground floor to the rooftop, the building tells a story of solitude and vibrancy. Sculptural interventions and framing views of Melbourne are coupled with craftsmanship and attention to detail, with the vision of South Yarra House one of prestige and permanence.

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Wattletree and Dorman Capital's decision to engage SJB as the project's architect came after an extensive competition process. SJB's concept for South Yarra House was deeply rooted in the local context.

Numerous site visits, photographic studies, and sketches of nearby buildings allowed the team to gather a collection of ideas, drivers, and inspirations. 

Inspired by South Yarra's iconic Art Deco and Spanish mission homes and apartment blocks, such as the Beverley Hills flats and 31 Marne St, SJB's design concept merges a timeless New York tower aesthetic with these local references.

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With a predominantly brick and concrete façade the architects have strategically prioritised unobstructed views to the north while ensuring the building's thermal efficiency and solar performance.

The façade features a gridded column and beam composition, with glass set back deeply, and a few arched moments that add a touch of charm.

The modestly scaled tower comprises three floors dedicated to commercial and retail spaces on the lower levels.

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Above, 13 levels house crafted residences, with a maximum of five apartments per floor.

The upper levels offer even more exclusivity, with only two to three apartments per floor. To top it off, residents will have access to a communal rooftop where they can enjoy panoramic views.

Situated in front of Melbourne High School's football ground, the dwellings offer expansive views of lush green landscapes and the majestic Yarra River.

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Alison Warters

Alison Warters is a property journalist for Urban, based in Sydney. Alison is especially interested in the evolution of the New Build/Development space, when it comes to design innovation and sustainability.

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