Penthouse perfection enhances magic of Melrose Arch

Posted On Tuesday, 04 September 2007 02:00 Published by
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There are many other reasons why investors and upwardly mobile professionals should cast their eyes towards Johannesburg’s most centrally located, energetic urban village.


Decorative style variation, elegant furniture, cutting-edge appliances, a sense of spaciousness breeziness, and an overall astounding approach to 21st century architecture is at the heart of the residential developments at Melrose Arch.

The combined aesthetic vision represented by these apartments is singularly sensational. The apartments represent a unique kind of upmarket new-urbanism that has no equal anywhere else in Africa. The inspiration that it draws from the continent’s rich tableau of ornamentation belies the brilliance of these apartments.

At Melrose Arch you can live, work, workout, eat-out, relax, socialize and shop all without leaving a secure setting that is also free from the torment of traffic.

The residential apartments at Melrose Arch are salted throughout the development and range in price from some R7,5 million to about R2 million. A 75m2 penthouse was recently resold at a record R32,000/m2, placing the Melrose Arch precinct among the most exclusive suburbs in Johannesburg in terms of sectional title property prices.

It is no wonder that a number of apartments are only available to rent, with those who purchased some years ago, during the development of the first phase of Melrose Arch, holding onto their unique and rewarding investments.

Apartments currently under construction at Melrose Square on Oak Lane are selling at between R27, 000/m2 and R29,000/m2, up from R19,000/m2 when the development was first launched in September 2005. However, if you want to stake your claim, you best do so soon with only one of the 67 units remaining unsold.

“The limited supply of residential stock at Melrose Arch should continue to support price growth. This is complemented by the quality of the apartments, lofts and penthouses as well as that of the vibrant mixed-use Melrose Arch precinct itself,” says Nicholas Stopforth, director of the Melrose Arch Development Company.

Melrose Arch is owned by Southern Palace Investments, a joint venture between Amdec Property Development and Property Partners. Amdec is also the appointed development manager for Melrose Arch, driving the roll-out of all development projects in this prestigious mixed-use precinct.

Whilst there are currently has less than 120 residential units completed or under construction at Melrose Arch, Stopforth points out that the number should increase to no more than 300 to 350 over the next few years.

Nowhere is the quality and exclusivity of Melrose Arch’s residential property better flaunted than at Unit 3 on the 3rd floor of a centrally situated complex at 4 The High Street. This roomy apartment is an excellent example of what post-modern penthouse perfection is all about. Its fusion of styles alone makes for sheer eclectic excellence.

From the moment you enter the foyer, welcomed by the warm tones of the Mediterranean-style, mosaic-covered wall that curves away to the main quarters and its walk-through bathroom, you feel sublimely seduced.

In case you wonder who the planners had in mind for this apartment, consider the three wall clocks to help keep track of time in London, New York, and Tokyo, or any other city.

Off-setting the vivid vibrancy of the entrance is a guest bathroom of minimalist design and amber-lit elegance. The guest bedroom is an irresistible blend of dark, wooden tones and soft, romantic light streaming in through the balcony windows, is a perfect precursor to the perfection of the other bedrooms.

A spare bedroom it may be, but as elsewhere in this dream penthouse, no expense was spared. Each bedroom comes with a balcony and the main bedroom, facing North-East and streaked with filtered sunbeams, is conveniently tucked away in the penthouse’s most private corner.

It’s upstairs that this penthouse’s combination of style and savvy really amaze.

The top-floor landing is wide and welcoming, has a pseudo-loft feeling, and is filled with the warmth of ample light streaming in through patio doors that make up almost entirely the south- and east-facing walls.

To the one side of the staircase is a kitchen fit for the best cordon-bleu chef, with a wide serving hatch looking onto the dining room table snugly fitted underneath the mezzanine leisure level.

To the other side of the staircase is a spacious lounge with a distinct ethic edge, and a TV room is situated further up on an indoor patio that leads towards the mezzanine platform. This leisure level, replete with a wooden strip-floor, iron railings, and bathroom to the one side, is one of the penthouse’s best examples of architectural progressiveness, taking the idea of open-plan living to, well, a new level.

The TV area is also far more than merely being a goggle box spot. It’s a visual experience in itself. A buckskin rug, made up of same-sized squares as if stitched together by Andy Warhol, is thrown on the stone-tiled floor and its symmetry is mimicked by a wall punctuated wooden nodes that reminds one of the spike motif seen in Timbuktu’s ancient city of mud and daub mosques. The picture is made perfect by an old-style ethnographic portrait of an African warrior from colonial times, stylishly positioned off-centre. All in all, the TV area encompasses a small section of the penthouse but it encapsulates the decorators’ driving dynamic of African internationalism.

Outside the lounge a patio and braai area overlook the buzz of the High Street and around the corner a soft din rises up from the el-fresco buzz of the Melrose Square piazza, Gauteng’s most happening hang-out for professional and progressive people.

Situated on the sun-kissed corner of Melrose Arch’s most central point, this penthouse also overlooks Melrose Boulevard that leads up to 1 Melrose Boulevard, the location of another hidden residential gem.

The apartments at 1 Melrose Boulevard embody the same approach to African internationalism. New approaches to a collective African aesthetic blends in beautifully with chic, first world functionality, combining elements of light, spaciousness, leisure, and differing colour tones to exude spiritual warmth entirely befitting of the classy relaxation that these romantic abodes inspire.

Situated on the southern end of Melrose Arch is yet another example of residential romance at 28 Crescent Road. Unit one in this building is decidedly more austere and spare than this penthouse or the apartments at 1 Melrose Boulevard. But its classical feel makes it a must for those who prefer modern over post-modern living.

Together these apartments are clear examples of the extent to which the Melrose Arch Development Company have gone to ensure that it offers only the best to its burgeoning residential population.

Stopforth explains that until recently there were approximately 4,500 people living and working in Melrose Arch. But that number is expected to quadruple. By 2010, when many phases of Johannesburg’s most progressive business, lifestyle and leisure precinct are scheduled for completion, around 22,000 people are expected to live and work at Melrose Arch.

“These residential properties”, says Stopforth, “together with the existing retail outlets, restaurants, businesses, and hotels all contribute towards Melrose Arch achieving critical mass. Melrose Arch embodies the residential Renaissance currently underway in Johannesburg.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 16:36

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