MPG unveils plans for 300-plus apartments on Vernon Circle

Ian Bushnell 10 October 2018

One City Hill will hug Vernon Circle and comprise more than 300 apartments. Photo: Supplied

The first stage of Morris Property Group’s proposed city development, The Barracks, will include more than 300 apartments, retail and a 750-space car park.

On Tuesday (9 October), the company unveiled plans for the development, One City Hill, on the former car park between London Circuit and Vernon Circle (Section 100, formerly Section 63).

Designed by internationally renowned architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt), One City Hill will hug the curve of Canberra’s southern entry boulevard, Vernon Circle, and also include open space, a pool, theatre and gym.

The development will comprise 313 residential apartments, six retail tenancies and the 750-space public car park, as well as resident parking.

The building will have three basement levels and nine levels above ground, with a building height of 25 metres on the Vernon Circle frontage.

MPG says the apartment mix is predominantly targeted at owner-occupiers with about three-quarters of the building having two or three-bedroom floorplans, and will offer the feel and privacy of boutique living.

MPG Director Barry Morris said One City Hill was fjmt’s first residential project in Canberra.

“The design of One City Hill is inspired by fjmt’s international experience and we believe it will be acclaimed as an outstanding example of exterior architecture that reflects and enhances its setting,” he said.

He said fjmt focused on the human and social capital of the buildings they design, ensuring they truly became part of the landscape they sit within.

Some of fjmt’s major projects include ‘Bunjil Place’ in Melbourne – awarded the William Wardell Award for Public Architecture; and the ‘EY Centre at 200 George Street’ in Sydney – winner of the 2017 AIA Harry Seidler Award for the most outstanding work of commercial architecture.

“Morris Property Group constantly aspires to create beautiful residences people are proud to call home. fjmt took this brief and ran with it. The outcome is a luxury building with all the amenity that comes from a larger development – including a half-acre of open space, infinity edge pool, theatre and gym – with the privacy and ease of living of a much smaller one,” Mr Morris said.

fjmt Design Director Richard Francis-Jones said the firm took Canberra’s own natural beauty as a reference.

“The subtle curves of the façade reflect the movement of water upon the lake shore, referencing the unique character of Lake Burley Griffin and surrounds,” he said.

MPG plans to eventually build more than 1000 apartments in four stages on the 2.6-hectare site adjacent to the New Acton cultural precinct, Australian National University, City Hill and the ACT courts precinct.

It finalised the purchase of Section 100 from City West Property Holdings in June for $85 million.

Colliers International is marketing The Barracks. Director Residential, Shane Radnell said One City Hill was a development of the highest calibre.

“Its location, quality and design build on Morris Property Group’s already outstanding reputation as a leading developer,” he said. “Our team is excited it will be bringing One City Hill to the market shortly and can’t wait until we can show people all this world-class precinct has to offer.”

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