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Harbour Masters Awards

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

Waterside Units Prove Real Winners. by Julie Lewis

This one wowed the judges and no wonder. The Pier Apartments' location- over 13 metres of water- and its size- the equivalent of a 70-storey apartment block on its side- meant it required astonishing co-ordination and innovation to build.

Declaring the Pier Apartments the winner in the category for home units $1 million-plus, the judges said it was "an exceptional development" that stayed "true to its industrial heritage". They lauded its fine finishes and its impressive car park, which was assembled suspended above the water then lowered into position under the water.

A joint venture between developers Mirvac and infrastructure giant Transfield, the Pier apartments are part of the larger Walsh Bay redevelopment and comprise 140 luxury units. The project was completed in March this year and may be the only pier in the world designed for residential use.

Building its substructure required driving steel piles into the muddy bottom and about a metre into the underlying rock. Spokeswoman Kerrie Muskens says the builders were often at the mercy of the tides.

Muskens says the length of the building also presented difficulties. "When a building is 70 storeys high you just use your lift to get up to the top floor and down again." In this case, the largest barge in the southern hemisphere was hired for material storage and two tower cranes moved material over the site.

Purposed-designed-and-built metal louvres give the building a shimmering, silvery presence and help it to harmonise with the harbour and the other wharves.

Mirvac also took out the award in the category for design and construct- home units $500,000- plus for its Pyrmont project, Promontory. The judges called this a "challenging development".

It consists of four residential buildings, each with its own individual character, public car park, a plaza and a public car park. Careful waterproofing was needed when building the 3000-square-metre public park on top of the car park and some residential areas. The result is a smart development that compliments rather than dominates Pyrmont Point.

Renzo Tonin & Associates was responsible for the acoustic design of these projects.

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