Share Table in Apartment Space Race

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02 September 2013

Share Table in Apartment Space Race

By Rachel Wells (The Age)

A new breed of luxury apartment developments are being fitted with large communal kitchen and dining areas so that residents can entertain as if they were living in a sprawling suburban home.

Developers say the introduction of shared cooking and entertainment spaces, which can be booked by residents, also creates a greater sense of community by enabling residents to interact with one another and entertain friends and family in a way they couldn’t within the confines of their apartment.

"We want the place to feel like a home," says Christopher Rice, senior manager operations at SP Setia, developer of the Parque apartments on St Kilda Road.

"Historically, the demographic along St Kilda Road has been weighted more in favour of owner-occupier, so they’re often coming out of large homes and they’re downsizing, but they still want to entertain and do some of the traditional things that you’d do in a larger home,” he said.

The Parque development, to be completed in 2016, will include a large, shared kitchen designed by Vue de Monde chef Shannon Bennett, and a dining area for up to 15 people, which can be reserved by residents. Bennett will also offer packages to cook for groups who book the space.

"It simply means that residents can invite over friends, family and guests and entertain them in a larger space," says Mr Rice, whose Fulton Lane development in the city will also feature a shared kitchen and dining area.

While communal rooftop terraces, gyms and pools have long been a feature of high-rise, inner-city apartment complexes, developers say that shared indoor entertaining spaces are the 'next evolution' in high-end apartment buildings and are designed to attract a broader range of tenants.

Mr Rice says the trend for shared dining spaces is gaining popularity in new Melbourne developments and is already popular in high-density cities such as Singapore.