"> Parc, Sonnet, La Mer – UPco

Martha Cove, Safety Beach

Client: Three Pillars / Buildcap
Project type: Residential (townhouses)
Stakeholders: Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Design Committee of the Onwers Corporation, local community
Value: $98 million

Image courtesy of Buildcap / Three Pillars

The project
Situated on on the Mornington Peninsula, Martha Cove is a burgeoning waterfront community – offering marina facilities, neighbourhood commerce and an abundance of waterside recreational spaces, all within one estate. Residents are never too far from a winery, a State Park, a golf course or the impressive lookouts of southern Victoria – so Martha Cove has naturally become an ideal location for residential growth.

Deciding to embrace everything on offer, BuildCap and Three Pillars set out to craft a trio of modern townhouse developments that echo their waterside surrounds. UPco joined the project team to help deliver Sonnet, Parc and La Mer: three brand-new builds on vacant land.

The challenge

Working within Martha Cove was unique. The 94 hectare master-planned community operates as one planning unit, with one high-detail planning permit that applies to the entire estate. Our task was to interpret these requirements, alongside those of the Mornington Peninsula Shire Planning Scheme and the Master Plan Design Guidelines, to advise on built form outcomes. This advice laid the foundation for reports and plans, which would require Council’s tick of approval in lieu of a traditional planning permit application.

The Council endorsement process was fairly smooth for all three projects, however Sonnet’s fourteen triple-storey townhouses presented a particular design challenge. Sonnet was designed to sprawl across a section of boardwalk – but Council requested there be public and visual connection to the waterfront, requiring gaps between each building. After some negotiation, we struck a compromise and incorporated two leaf-shrouded walkways.

While considering the broader planning permit and the values of each stakeholder, there was also the complexity of consulting with the Owners Corporation Design Committee, whose purpose it is to ensure the coherent design of Martha Cove.

The outcome

Council endorsed the reports and plans for all three projects, having carefully considered how each would enhance vitality of the area, and improve common area access and pedestrian safety. La Mer and Parc have been completed, adding to the housing variety of Martha Cove, and construction for Sonnet is underway.

These townhouses were a catalyst for the rejuvenation of Martha Cove – and with the area’s increasing hum of retail and hospitality activity, we’re proud to have played a part in this Mornington Peninsula neighbourhood.