From a luxury penthouse brought lovingly back to life to an iconic landmark with a strong community spirit, the WINConnect Australian Apartment Awards for Excellence featured some of the best of WA strata.
Among the winners last month in categories that covered everything from affordability to heritage, were two complexes managed by SCA WA-member strata firms and a refurbishment project for SCA WA president Catherine Lezer.
Luxury in the sky
47 Forrest Avenue East Perth
Winner Refurbished Apartment Award
CR Design, with Catherine Lezer and builder Thornlow Rice
Australian designer Peter Reeve has worked on blue chip properties across the globe including in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, France, Hong Kong and London. Recently, he also
breathed new life into a 1980s Penthouse at City Towers in East Perth.
When SCA WA president Catherine Lezer and her husband purchased the 15th floor, 268 square metre penthouse in 2018, it was run down, had been used for student accomodation and was still in its original 1986 condition.
Reeve was called in to work his magic.
The challenging renovation took eight months. The substantial works included moving a window a metre within the strata lot, using a crane to lift up sliding doors, bedheads and artwork and taking plasterboard sheets up in the lift one at a time.
The apartment also had to be rewired to allow for the feature lighting which was a big part of the renovated apartment.
Completed, the penthouse was transformed into a luxury two bedroom, three bathroom home with a study. Finishing touches included three different types of stone, custom made furniture and all manner of lighting from modern ceiling inset strip lights to feature pendants to draw the eye to the view or art.
The apartment sold in February 2021 for $1.7 million.
City Towers Apartments
47 Forrest Avenue East Perth
Winner People’s Choice Award
Managed by Richardson Strata
An iconic building on the East Perth streetscape, City Towers was recognised for having owners and managers committed to community spirit and high standards of management.
Built in the 1980s, it sits on three separate land titles, has spiralling gardens, Art Deco overtones and a pool. The apartments are large and most are owner occupied. Some residents have been there since the tower opened.
In 2017, a plan was developed for the building’s future that included refurbishments of the foyer and the reception areas on each floor. The City Towers Council of Owners Transformation Project began and owners became involved in different working groups.
The project covered everything from communications within the complex (from newsletters to notices on the lifts), to fire safety (which was updated) and sustainability (the tower was able to cut energy costs by 35 percent and water use by 10 percent).
Recycling initiatives included all new residents being given free food waste containers and recycling tubs. The bin room also housed a Good Samaritans collection point for clothing and textiles.
The City Towers community also has a book swap area, a worm farm and small herb and vegetable garden. A bigger vegetable garden was planned.
During Covid lockdowns the community spirit came to the fore and residents checked to make sure neighbours were okay.
It’s not surprising then that attendance at annual general meetings, where refreshments are provided, runs at 60 to 71 percent of owners in person or by proxy.
42-52 Terrace Road East Perth
Winner: Enduring award
Architects: Hassell. Developer: Mirvac-Fini. Managed by: ESM Strata
One of Perth’s most exclusive residential addresses, Panorama Apartments which fronts Langley Park and has sweeping views of the Swan River to Kings Park, has stood the test of time.
Built by Mirvac-Fini in 2001, the 19 storey, 132 luxury apartment complex has won awards for design, including the prestigious Royal Institute of Architects Design Awards for Residential Architecture.
Setting the bar for later developments along Terrace Road, its features include a forecourt; multi-level entry lobby; landscaped gardens; and rooftop amenities, including a pool and spa terrace, function room, gym and boardroom.
Keeping the property in top condition has been a priority.
A building manager attends to daily maintenance and compiles a fortnightly report to the Council of Owners on work and future needs.
There is a concierge service and the gardens have been upgraded several times, the last in 2019.
The last two years has seen the pool area refreshed, new equipment purchased for the gym, security cameras upgraded, new safety equipment installed, lighting upgraded and general work to the car park and driveway areas, among other work.
The Council of Owners also has a strategy for installing an embedded network, the first step for designing future energy efficiencies including solar panels. And there are recycling strategies for coffee pods and containers for change.