Honouring the vision
Close to half a century of architectural heritage allows Mirvac to create enduring communities across Australia, securing its legacy firmly in place.
IN THE SAME WAY that luxury couture and jewellery houses look to their archives and original brand founders to influence and inspire modern design, so too does Mirvac strive to uphold the unwavering commitment to quality embedded in its DNA.
Since 1972, it’s estimated more than a million people have lived in Mirvac properties across Australia. While the volume of this experience is vast, more telling is that customers come back for more. A recent project on Sydney’s north shore, St Leonard’s Square, attracted close to 40 per cent of repeat Mirvac customers.
Few property companies can lay claim to such long-standing history in the Australian market and few in the fast-paced world of property enjoy this level of brand loyalty. The explanation lies in Mirvac’s near half a century of experience, says general manager of sales, marketing and design for Mirvac, Diana Sarcasmo. “To be at the forefront of good design requires an innate understanding of the past. You don’t become a master in the craft without listening to and learning from your discerning customers.
“One of our founders, Henry Pollack, was an architect. The company began with a relentless desire to design and develop properties to improve the way people live – to enrich their lives. Their commitment was to exceptional design, but also to exceptional service.” Through the decades, this commitment to quality has seen Mirvac build on its success. Every project informs the next.
Sarcasmo cites early adoption of sustainable building practices as an example of how the property group has learnt from experience to innovate for the future. Back in 2000, Mirvac helped create Australia’s first solar village. Newington was built as athletes’ accommodation for the Sydney Olympics and transformed into a new residential community. Lessons from this process entrenched sustainability in Mirvac’s design processes. Fast forward 18 years and Mirvac was named not just Australia’s most sustainable property company, but the world’s, by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
Mirvac head of residential, Stuart Penklis, says Mirvac has evolved over 45 years from designing and building single projects to now creating properties that offer high-quality living to not only residents, but the broader community, too. He points to Mirvac projects across the country: Yarra’s Edge, a curated collection of Residences and Cargo homes on Melbourne’s Yarra River, Sydney Olympic Park’s Pavilions, and The Peninsula in Perth as being “all about urban renewal”.
Observing the Mirvac founders’ passion for customer-oriented design and attention to detail, Penklis is intent on nurturing and honouring the unique elements of Mirvac’s culture that prioritises quality and care in every little detail as well as listening to customers and communities. It is this honouring of the past that will enable Mirvac to drive bigger thinking for a future residential legacy.
“The Mirvac difference is that we design, build and sell our own properties, so we control every stage of the process. In a world of fast-paced change this level of in-house expertise is essential,” says Penklis. “Society is evolving rapidly, we will see some of our cities double their population by 2050. Sydney’s population is expected to exceed 7.4 million by 2050. Commuting will become life-changing as people seek housing solutions that support a work-life balance.
“Our success will also be influenced by our industry’s ability to respect place, as it is the local history, people and lifestyle that make our cities different. At Mirvac we dive deeply into a place before we enhance it. This means getting to know neighbourhoods well over time and listening carefully to a community’s aspirations.
“Mirvac’s view of Australian cities in 2050 is that they will be much more dynamic and complex than they are now, no longer homogenous places of business – they will blend social, residential, commercial, retail and community experiences in both the physical and digital realms. Housing will be transformed by technology that aims to make life easier, so we get more out of our home environments. That means advances brought to us by future automation and robotics with homes that intelligently run themselves, driving energy efficiency,” says Penklis.
Mirvac’s House With No Bills pilot is a research project exploring what it will take to offer homes with zero energy bills. It has the potential to revolutionise Australian housing by uncovering how to deliver off-grid housing to the mass market. “We will see suburbs with zero energy bills in 2050 and cleaner transport such as electric fleets, from private vehicles to driverless public transport. We are implementing design considerations to future-proof our buildings and communities to accommodate these changes.
“No doubt homes will change dramatically, but essential to our future is welcoming smart development that optimises space through good design. To build a bright future for Australians, to create a legacy for generations to come, development should be selfsustaining, incorporating the environment and technology and ultimately improving connectivity in our cities.”
As the pace of change in our cities increases, Penklis believes heritage remains important. “Decades of experience ensures a deep understanding of customers. Mirvac will continue to honour its founding principles of quality and care in every little detail. An unwavering commitment to exceptional design and service creates a legacy for generations to come,” he says. mirvac.com