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Rooftop pools make a splash as developers bring penthouse amenities to the people

Property Observer


Property Observer
By Nicola Trotman
21st December 2012

Swimming pools were once designated to the ground level of apartment complexes, and for a while to the dark, internal basements, but today they’re increasingly offering sky-high outdoor views.

The aquatic rooftop trend comes on the heels of the democratisation of the tops floor with the trend also seen through rooftop gardens, and even cinemas.

The Radius apartment complex in Woolloongabba, Brisbane, will have a 20-metre three-lane lap pool (pictured above) on the rooftop of the nine-storey building.

The sky deck will offer tiered viewing decks, sun terraces and two 12-seater spas – all with panoramic mountain views of Brisbane – on its expected March 2014 completion.

Designed by Hayes Anderson Lynch Architects, Radius Apartments is a close three kilometres to the CBD.

Warren Hyatt from Majella Group – developer of Radius Apartments – says placing the leisure amenities on the roof allows for a larger scale of facilities than if the swimming pool were at the ground or podium level, where space is limited.

Warren Hyatt also says a pool on the roof increases privacy, as residents do not look down onto the recreation facilities.

With its prime Melbourne CBD position at 199 William Street, Melbourne, The William is another new development embracing the trend.

The William offers views from the rooftop swimming pool on level 23 (pictured above), with a barbecue and lounge area.

Comprising 470 units, the development is designed by Bruce Henderson and developed by Hengyi Australia.

A bit more low rise, and right opposite the sandy beach, EightyEight in Albert Park, Melbourne, will on its much-awaited commencement and completion have a fourth floor lap pool overlooking Port Phillip Bay.

Designed by Omiros One Architects (O1A), EightyEight (pictured above) offers 27 residential dwellings.

O1A says it is committed to the health of the environment and the creation of buildings that show a deep respect for the planet.

With construction to commence March next year, EightyEight is currently 50% sold.

One-bedroom apartments start from $950,000 and two-bedroom apartments start from $1.4 million.

EightyEight has an expected completion date for the last quarter in 2014.

The $140 million development Belvedere by Winten Property Group boasts a 12.5-metre lap pool (pictured above) on the rooftop terrace.

Located at 138 Walker Street, North Sydney, Belvedere soars 22 levels high, and the rooftop terrace also hosts a gymnasium and relaxation areas.

On offer are one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging from $375,000 to $2.95 million.

With an expected completion date of November 2013, Belvedere has currently sold 80% of the 195 apartments.

Divercity at Waterloo in Sydney (pictured above)  is another new development to embrace the swimming pool trend.

Suitable for those afraid of heights, Divercity apartment towers range between six to 12 storeys high.

The lifestyle floor – two floors high – features an outdoor heated 20-metre lap pool that overlooks the street below, and an outdoor yoga studio.

Also included is an outdoor kitchen equipped with a barbecue and pizza oven for that after-swim feed.

Developed by Becton and designed by Turner and Associates architects, Divercity has a late 2013 completion date.

Matthew Chun, the Becton Property Group chief says says developers are opting for higher-level swimming pools due to street level noise and the benefit of offering residents more privacy and security.

“Residents are more favourable to having pools adjacent to aesthetically pleasing outdoor entertainment spaces, as opposed to an indoor pool,”

Chun says the introduction of these facilities increases tenant demand, reduces rental downtime and improves rental growth for investors.

The Becton boss also notes public swimming pools and gyms generally require an admission or membership fee; therefore swimming pools in apartment complexes are seen as a free benefit to tenants.

Michael Fox, managing director of Little Property Group – developer of Central South Yarra – says the rooftop trend stems from tenants and their landlord investors seeking low-maintenance recreational living options.

“They want to enjoy the outdoor scenario,” says Fox.

Fox says the additional recreation space adds to the value of all apartments, despite the loss of revenue from sale of the top floor or rooftop.

“Essentially, it’s an extension of their apartment. Residents are happy to live in smaller spaces but have other facilities at their fingertips so they can entertain their guests in an open and unique environment.”

We’ve also looked at the trend of starry-eyed rooftop cinemas leading the way in outdoor viewing.

Click here to read more

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