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Novus on Harris is a sensitive response to the building’s place and relationship to the earth and climate.


By designing with Country, the build-to-rent development respects the local landscape and habitats, incorporates hues and materials inspired by the site and creates a meaningful meeting place connected to the nearby park, river and creek.

Co-existing with the climate and creek

The open, outward-facing podium of Novus on Harris is designed to co-exist with the local environment, as the building is on a flood-prone, adjacent to Clay Cliff Creek. The ground plane is envisaged as a raft, with a series of inhabitable decks allowing water to move in and around the base of the podium. Planting deep within the site provides habitat for wildlife and aids in water filtration systems, and the protective canopy collects and filters rainwater.

Designing with Country

Designing the project in consultation with Teribelang-Bunda artist Geoff Sellman and designer Simon Alexander Cook produced a sophisticated synthesis of architecture and art. The colour, material and ornament embedded in the building creates a deeper relationship to place, meaning and memory. Urban artwork on the canopy soffit connects with Country, and the natural hues through the materials are drawn from the site itself, as if the building was crafted from clay and paperbark.

Shading for solar protection and visual interest

The façades of the tower are tailored for their orientation, aspect and climate. The concrete slab shades the glass and balconies facing north and west, while the south and east elevations have more solid exteriors. The tonal variation in the colour of the concrete soffits offers visual interest up the height of the tower, and a collection of landscaped plateaus on the rooftop offers resident amenities.

project details
39-43 Hassall StreetNovusMelbourne, VIC