Barangaroo sticks to the plot
Sydneysiders downsizing from a house into an apartment usually kiss goodbye to a front lawn, but not at the soon-to-be released Barangaroo.
Architect Andrew Andersons says the five penthouses at the 80-unit block he has designed at Barangaroo South will each come with a patch of grass - yes, real grass. There is also a large communal grassed area on the rooftop for all residents.
''This is a very democratic building,'' Mr Andersons says. ''There's a body corporate roof garden with a lawn where everyone can go and lie in the sun.''
Mr Anderson's Barangaroo waterfront apartments - to be completed in 2015 - will have an industrial look, constructed from a zinc-like metal, timber and glass. They will all have harbour views as well as eco-friendly features such as photovoltaic cells on the roof that will activate the water-treatment plants, as well as provide privacy from the commercial towers above.
Advertisement Although there will be airconditioning, Mr Andersons says it won't be required as two-thirds of the apartments will be cross-ventilated. Bougainvillea creepers and screens will also help block out the afternoon sun and unwanted eyes.
''I think it's really important that you can be private on your balcony or flaunt it,'' Mr Andersons says.
There will be 79 apartments in a block next door designed by Richard Francis-Jones.
Barangaroo's 60-square-metre one-bedroom apartments are expected to cost from $1 million, and the 100-square-metre two-bedders from $2 million.
Prices for the three-bedroom Andersons-designed penthouses are yet to be officially released but could fetch more than $3 million.
Mr Andersons compared his shared rooftop lawn to that at the famous 1920s block The Astor, in Macquarie Street. ''Everyone has access to the roof garden and although it's astro turf, it's fabulous and there's this wonderful panorama,'' he says.
Australian Property Monitors' data shows apartments in The Astor have been slow to move of late. A two-bedroom apartment, the same size as its Barangaroo equivalent, is available for $1.55 million, having dropped by almost $200,000 since it was first listed in February last year.
A three-bedder ''untouched for 30 years'', and without a buyer for another year, is priced at $2 million. And a particularly grand two-bedder featuring cabinetry designed by Francis de Groot, who most famously slashed the ribbon at the opening of the Harbour Bridge in 1932, is priced at $3.35 million.
But the cutting-edge, eco-friendly Barangaroo apartments are expected to be far more popular with buyers - both locally and overseas - when launched off-the-plan in June through agents CBRE.