Top architect derides quality of apartments

The quality of many newly built apartments in Melbourne is sub-standard, according to one of the city’s top architects.

Tony Battersby, director of architecture and design company SJB, has told Fairfax Media the city needs to regulate against poorly designed apartment blocks being built, which offer little floor space, sunlight or ventilation.

“In terms of demand for amenity, it’s not really being appropriately met in some of these denser, taller towers in the centre of the city,” Mr Battersby told the Australian Financial Review.

“Residents don’t want to be shoved into a south-facing apartment with a tiny footprint, no sunlight and no ventilation.”

Despite talk of an oversupply of apartments in some areas of Melbourne’s CBD, Mr Battersby believed there was still strong demand for quality apartments that offered the attributes buyers were looking for – quality interiors, green space, established streetscape, proximity to cafes and restaurants, and open space to exercise.

“Melbourne is still desperate for apartment accommodation, but it’s really saturated in terms of apartments where the amenity isn’t really what it should be,” Mr Battersby said.

 “Until developers come up with better solutions to living in the city, I think they’ll find resistance from buyers.”

That said, Mr Battersby said SJB was the busiest it had been in six years, with current developments in both the fringe suburbs of Abbotsford and North Melbourne. 

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