Merri is designed to complement the natural beauty of Merri Creek. The homes aim to feel familiar and immersed in their natural surroundings. With a relaxed connection to the natural environment, each building’s materiality speaks to a timeless and integrated quality, where bushland will infiltrate the architecture over time. Each building responds to its surroundings through varied height and scale with connections through intimate shared spaces, providing the opportunity to meet neighbours or enjoy a secluded spot in the sun.

Merri Creek Under High Street Bridge, Artist Impression

Architectural vision

Each building name is drawn from the six tributaries that run into Merri Creek. The creek flows 70km from Australia’s Great Dividing Range through Melbourne’s northern suburbs to the Yarra River. Many smaller tributaries flow into the creek from upstream including Merlynston, Central, Edgars, Aitken, Malcolm and Wallan creeks. The creek borrows its name from the Wurundjeri-willam phrase Merri Merri meaning “very rocky”.

Edgars Building looking back from the Creek, Artist Impression


Nature nurtured

Merri makes the most of its unique location by blurring boundaries
to both the creek and nearby urban environments. The site offers
an opportunity for locals to connect with the creek along a new path created as part of the project. Open pathways from Walker Street provide vistas through the buildings and open onto sunny piazzas with eucalyptus trees, leading down towards bushland and water.

Urban design and the natural environment are brought together through the blending of architecture and setting. Each building and its surroundings establish places for residents and the public to connect. Focusing on the landscape architecture throughout, nature is encouraged to integrate with the public spaces and parts of the building.

Artist Impression

Between Merri’s buildings, the landscape adopts floral themes
which create a year-round seasonal environment. Rich, layered
and textured vegetation focuses on three distinct planting themes; yellow, red and blue. Pedestrians can move in and out of these colourful spaces, experiencing dappled light in winter, foliage in autumn, bright blooms in spring and leafy canopies in summer. An important priority for the landscaping architecture is rehabilitation of indigenous and native flora such as feather spear-grass, eucalyptus, and acacia’s along Merri Creek. This, paired with the retention and supplementing of the existing trees along Walker Street, restores the area’s natural surrounds.

“The border between public and private spaces is separated by a soft transition. This is where the landscape becomes important, increasing privacy which is managed through walls and landscape alike.”

Lucas Dean, Associate Landscape Architect, TCL Landscape Architecture

Shared spaces

With six buildings cascading back from the corner of Walker and High Streets, Merri’s ground level shares four piazzas, providing distinct spaces for cosy connections, a neighbourly chat or a moment of peace. All car parking and vehicle access is located underground and out of sight, making way for peaceful, private and accessible spaces above.

This is where the community makes it their own. Where artists can showcase their work. And where the sound of the creek is always nearby, while every element, every area, has a sense of permeability.

Wallan Building Rooftop Views of Treetops and City, Artist Impression

Central Building Shared Pathway, Artist Impression

Spaces to call your own

Collaborating with landscape architects, TCL, each building has a dedicated rooftop garden.  Creek fronting buildings enjoy sweeping views of the nearby creek, tree tops and the city beyond, with comfortable spaces fitted with shade structures and a garden experience interspersed with pockets of seating and outdoor dining. The accompanying planting design will match that of the Merri Creek below, providing a private place of refuge and space where local birdlife is encouraged to visit.

Artist Impression

Adding texture to the environment

High quality and robust materials feature extensively throughout Merri. Textured concrete and masonry give gravitas and longevity to the structure, in a cohesive architectural language. From the ground floor, pedestrians can take in accents and details that provide visual interest. Steelwork, feature tiling and recycled timber help frame the buildings’ setting, while lead lighting details such as signature stained glass windows throughout the lobbies add visual accents within. A focus is placed on the use of natural materials and colours to merge with the surrounding environment, with an added commitment to target over 80% local suppliers and materials for the construction, which helps support Australian manufacturing and gives confidence that components originate from trusted sources.

Artists Impression