With the completion of Davis Avenue in Melbourne, boutique developer Orchard Piper has solidified its place at the forefront of the high end residential market. We catch up with founder and director Luke McKie to learn about how it started and where they’re heading.
December 17th, 2014
Images: Davis Avenue
Indesignlive: How/when was Orchard Piper founded?
Luke McKie: Orchard Piper was founded in October 2010 to fill a niche in the luxury residential development market, particularly apartments. House-sized apartments have been neglected in Melbourne since the late 90s and early 2000s. We aimed to restore this market and build apartments that are international in style and specification that offer a true alternative to a house.
IDL: Who are the key players in the company, what are their backgrounds?
LM: Myself, 10 years with Mirvac and Walker Corporation (before establishing OP in 2010) – two leading Australian property developers, both public and private company experience in the luxury market. Rick Gronow – from a property savvy family and joined me as a partner with Orchard Piper a few years ago.
IDL: What is the company’s central activity and ethos?
LM: High end luxury apartments, $1.5m – $15m. Every project benefits from our unwavering commitment to seeing out the full design process. We identify design talent and provide a platform to express their work through our projects. An ethos embracing the alchemy of collaboration with the best designers we can find.
IDL: What do you feel is unique about Orchard Piper’s approach?
LM: Our complete respect and cultivation of the creative talent we employ. Design is everything to us, every aspect of our projects is scrutinised for the aesthetic, emotional and physical contribution it makes. We believe luxury exists in space, proportion and light; the qualitative elements. Not simply a collection of expensive fixtures and fittings that are accessible to anyone in the market with some money. Creating the incomparable is what truly sets our projects apart. Great designers unknowingly understand human connection with spaces and the reactions they draw. We see the intrinsic value in this and aim to make it fundamental to the experience of feeling “just right” when you enter one of our properties.
IDL: What have been some important milestones in Orchard Piper’s evolution so far?
LM: The completion of Davis Avenue earlier this year was the realisation of our commitment and ethos. The property exemplifies everything we stand for as a business and we are proud to show people what we are capable of. Also, launching Washington Street in Toorak to the market, offering a level of luxury and detail absent in Melbourne’s apartment market for at least 10 years.
IDL: Where do you hope to see the company grow to in the future?
LM: We will continue to pursue inner Melbourne’s prime residential addresses and become the leader in high end residential property. A lot of our inspiration comes from the US and UK’s prime residential markets – a growing awareness of Orchard Piper delivering this international level of property to the local market will fuel our business into the future. We’d like to develop our style of project in the major cities of the world that have a design appreciative audience.
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