Powe Architects are very pleased to announce that our Sierra Nuvo Residences project at Highgate Hill will commence on site before August this year. In August 2017, KJ Constructions introduced us to Skyring Asset Management and to the DA approved apartment project that they had acquired on the corner of Jones and Colton Streets, Highgate Hill. Our brief was to undertake a complete design review of the project, improve the designs and efficiencies of the apartment layouts and reduce the construction cost. We started by achieving significant savings in the basements and in the retention structure, then systematically rationalising every apartment within the footprint and bulk of the existing approval. This site has had a turbulent approval history and we worked closely with the Skyring team to ensure that only a Minor Change was required to the Court Approval. The amended Development Application was approved by Brisbane City Council in May this year.

Artist’s impression street elevation; Artwork by Render House.

While the exterior of the building remains generally unchanged from the previous approval, the real changes were made internally and, with credit to David Mardell and Stephen Browne at Skyring, it was agreed to draw natural light and ventilation into the design of Sierra Nuvo with the introduction of a central  “Skywell”. This full height space allows flow through natural ventilation to the majority of the apartments while also delivering a good natural light source to the bedrooms that would otherwise have attempted to “borrow” light through the apartments. This “breathable building” outcome was well received by Council (refer to the Insight article Buildings that Breathe). The building will enjoy expansive views to the city around to Mt Coot-tha and is crowned by an extensive roof top recreation area including wading and lap pools, landscaping, BBQ and dining facilities. The majority of the forty-four high quality, owner occupier apartments offer 3 and 4 bedrooms with over 95 resident carparking spaces.

Artist’s impression balcony views; Artwork by Render House.

Many of our commercial clients are unaware of our reputation for residential design experience and expertise and we are honoured to have been invited to contribute to the success of this project. Similarly, Skyring Asset Management are probably better known for specialising in providing registered first mortgage finance investment solutions for borrowers in the construction and development industries. By providing capital to borrowers, Skyring’s clients generate long-term, capital-stable income streams for their portfolios that are backed by high-quality, investment-grade properties within Australia. Sierra Nuvo is targeting the “owner-occupier” and Skyring has positioned the apartments as a premium inner city development, responding to the lack of apartments of this size and quality in the market. Construction is due for completion in October 2019 with handover to the residents well in time for Christmas!

Artwork by Render House: artist’s impression of Sierra Nuvo living areas.