The Evolution Of Inner City Townhouse Living: Townhouse Projects That Are Raising the Bar


For a long time townhouses were considered the poor cousin to more glamorous aspects of the development industry.

The stereotypical townhouse was built on a budget, in the suburbs and designed to be rented forever and a day.

In recent times, changing market dynamics have attracted a new breed of townhouse buyer - the cashed up empty nester who has no intention of living in an apartment.

Some of the country's leading developers have jumped on the bandwagon and delivered projects almost unfathomable just 10 years ago.

We tracked down five of the best townhouse projects from the last couple of years.

The Gardens by Sunland

Sunland launched 

The Gardens in Chirnside Park, Melbourne, in 2014 and the project is currently under construction.

Designed by Sunland’s in-house design team, The Gardens is a 176-townhome enclave surrounding a central garden spine.

Ranging from 82sqm to 203sqm internally, each home offers a private courtyard and views over the project’s central parklands.

The Gardens also incorporates a central facilities hub consisting of an outdoor swimming pool and barbeque facilities for the residents’ exclusive use.

Running along the project’s spine, a series of terraced gardens with retaining walls and sculptural landscaping will follow the contours of the sloping land to provide in essence a series of parklands offering a mix of passive relaxation space, grassed areas and lush pockets for the residents to enjoy.

The double storey homes themselves are imbued with neutral yet dramatic interiors with high-gloss kitchen cabinetry, stone benchtops and bronze mirrored splash backs in the kitchens leading to bespoke hand-crafted vanities, free standing baths and large ceramic tiles in the bathrooms.

Hemingway by Gurner

Hemingway Residences in Alphington, north east of the Melbourne CBD, sold out in just four weeks after being launched to the market in 2014.

Designed by design team

Chamberlain Javens Architects, the 9,160sqm site on the corner of Heidelberg Road and Perry Street in Melbourne includes 55 two- and three-bedroom homes across four chapters.

Gurner founder Tim Gurner, said the quality of the project presented some challenges.

“When we first priced the project it was challenging, as the quality of Hemingway Residences is not often found in an inner-city project," he said.

“The project was not actively marketed internationally and was primarily sold to local purchasers looking to downsize and young second home buyers upsizing from apartment living, as well as a handful of investors looking to capitalise on the low supply of quality residences in the inner north," Mr Gurner said.

Magnolia Residences by Sunland
Located only metres from the immaculate white sands of Palm Beach, Sunland's Magnoli Residences presents a new interpretation of the vibrant village atmosphere the Gold Coast’s southern beaches are renowned for.

This collection of 88 luxury terrace homes artfully combines the natural advantages of its coastal location with leading architecture to create a superb coastal enclave – serene architectural retreats, intimately connected to their seaside setting through pedestrian pathways, internal parks and tree-lined boulevards. Striking facades and flexible, family-oriented home designs offer all the advantages of choice, with three-bedroom plus study options and generous open plan living spaces.

Magnoli Residences is designed around two beautiful central pocket parks – a natural and enduring expression of art, beauty and community that will grow and flourish alongside those who live there. A harmonious blend of elegant architecture and graceful interior design are showcased in the seven distinct home designs, distinguished by unique architectural façades that create individuality and privacy.

Large windows capture the ocean breezes, enhanced by thoughtful open planning to create an enhanced sense of space, enriched by the seamless interaction between the indoor and outdoor living environments.

Park & Raphael by Kalex

Park & Raphael, in Abbotsford, Victoria,  features 19 luxury townhouses designed by JCB Architecture in conjunction with a suite of collaborators that include interiors by Design Office, furniture by Great Dane and landscapes by Urban Commons.

The tri-level townhouses offer three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a rooftop terrace. Pricing started at $875,000 and all have direct access from either Park Street or Raphael Street.

DesignOffice were commissioned to design all aspects of the interiors for the houses, from conceptual planning through to joinery detailing and finishes selection.

At the heart of each house is the communal cook’s kitchen, developed in collaboration with the local craftspeople at Cantilever. The kitchens are positioned centrally within the houses with the aim of creating a series of adjacent spaces, both indoor and outdoor, designed to provide occupants with a range of connected environments for living, relaxing and dining.

Ensuite bathrooms are arranged to maximise access to natural light and are screened from the adjoining sleeping areas by a layered threshold of timber-framed glazing and drapery by Kvadrat. The hotel-style bathrooms feature walk-in showers, custom joinery and separate WCs.

The interior palette is defined by neutral tones and tactile surfaces, combining concrete and oak floors, woollen carpets, ceramic tiles and stainless steel worktops.

The project is being developed by Kalex, a Melbourne-based property development company formed in 2002 by Kyp Bosci and Liam Wallis.

Point Luxe by Point Corp

The Point Luxe project in the inner Brisbane suburb of New Farm includes 12 townhouses surrounded my immaculate manicured gardens.

Thoughtfully designed, elegantly appointed and perfectly located – they will nestle in a truly outstanding stylish and beautifully realised environment that radiates success, style and comfort. Timber, marble, bronze and matte black come together in a luxuriant, moody palette. The raw meets the refined in custom detailed joinery and tailored finishes throughout.

Ray White Special Projects (Qld) Directors Mark Creevey and Tony Williams sold the site to PointCorp on behalf of a Melbourne syndicate.

Tony Williams said that demand for the site was driven by a trend in the market from developers seeking to provide smaller more boutique projects aimed at the owner occupier market.

“The market has evolved over the last 12–18 months with the re-emergence of upper end of the market and owner-occupiers looking to downsize out of the traditional family home into a quality product close to amenities,” he said.

He said demand for the site was driven by a trend in the market from developers seeking to provide smaller more boutique projects aimed at the owner-occupier market.

“The market has evolved over the last 12—18 months with the re-emergence of the upper end of the market and owner-occupiers looking to downsize out of the traditional family home into a quality product close to amenities,” he said.

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