The record price of $7 million for a home in Melbourne's Docklands is set to be smashed with the release for sale of the two penthouses atop the most prestigious building close to completion at Yarra's Edge.
On the 38th and 39th levels of Array, the double-storey east and west penthouses, over 425 sq m each internally, are also set to reach new heights in terms of luxury, comfort and opulence, says Christian Grahame, General Manager, Apartments (National), of the developer Mirvac.
"Our vision was to make these penthouses the most luxurious, beautiful and best apartments on the Melbourne waterfront," he says. "We haven't spared any time or expense in doing so.
"With Array, we made a definite decision to create a striking architectural crystalline structure as the most prestigious building at Yarra' Edge, which is in itself the premier waterfront residential precinct in Melbourne. And for the penthouses on the top we wanted to raise the bar in terms of customisation, finishes, style and the look and feel of them."
The 205-apartment Array, set eight metres back from the water and expected to be finished this April, has already created a stir in the marketplace, with 85 per cent of the apartments sold off the plan well ahead of schedule. The two four-bedroom penthouses, all with their own private ensuites, are the last to be launched, and Grahame predicts they will be bought for well over that previous Docklands record, set by the company's luxury river homes also at Yarra's Edge.
Each with a double-height 50sqm balcony, the penthouses' main living areas and master bedrooms also look out to stunning views over the city, Port Phillip Bay and back towards Victoria Harbour.
"It's all about orientation," says design director for Mirvac Julian Venning. "And the floor plans are designed so there's a very strong spatial arrangement that gives you a sense of quality and prestige. Over the living rooms, there's a double-height space with ceilings up to six metres high.
"Also, the apartments have private internal lifts so you can move easily between the floors without using the floating staircase. Everything has been well-considered and it's all about the most beneficial amenity for future residents."
To show the penthouses off to their full glory, as a world-first, Mirvac invited internationally renowned Melbourne-based fashion illustrator Megan Hess, to create a bespoke interior for the east penthouse. With a client list that includes Chanel, Dior, Tiffany & Co., Paspaley, Yves St Laurent, Fendi, Cartier and Vogue, Hess, who has also illustrated the best-selling book of Sex And The City, as well as portraits for Vanity Fair and Time, was delighted to accept the assignment.
The east penthouse is now being turned into a dazzling showcase of style and taste, with statement furniture pieces and furnishings from some of the world's top designers, including custom-made Fendi sofa, Versace ottomans and accessories, a Roberto Cavalli table and Jonathan Adler homewares. In addition, Hess created linens, artwork, cushion designs and even a white Calacatta marble ten-seater dining table, with a gold-leaf base.
"I've been doing a lot of work with Italian designers, creating some of these items from scratch," says Hess of her first venture into interior styling. "From beginning to end, the whole process will have taken about a year.
"I've varied the pieces and the designers and the colour palette so it creates a sophisticated eclectic look that will hopefully appeal to anyone who loves beauty and elegance. I've showcased a look that people would also find very comfortable to live in."
The building itself is also designed to make a strong statement in Melbourne. With a massive steel "crown" sculpture on the rooftop, that will be softly illuminated on completion to make a striking addition to the city skyline, it will set off the neighbouring T5 apartment tower, redefining the Flinders Street axis.
Venning says the building's glazed walls and reflective balustrades will capture the sunlight as it moves from the north east to the north west. "The inspiration for the building was looking at the river in the early morning when it sometimes has a beautiful reflective quality and sparkles as the light moves across it," he says.
"We've tried to replicate that with this building. The light will really animate the facade and make it sparkle in the same way."
With the other apartments in Array exciting so much interest, already there have been a number of inquiries about the penthouses. Many are keen to see inside what's being touted as the ultimate in taste, quality and luxury.
"Mirvac has a 40-year history in developing very high quality apartments, like The Melburnian, Walsh Bay in Sydney and Newstead on the Brisbane riverfront," says Grahame. "So when we talk about these penthouses being the ultimate in luxury, we know we'll be setting a new benchmark.
"We've already sold homes for $7 million at Yarra's Edge and we'll break that record again."