Our integrated team of experts works across urban & regional planning, social & economic impacts, transport planning, traffic engineering and urban design



Cnr. Nicholson & Miller Streets

  • Client

    Lucent Capital

  • Council

    Moreland City Council

  • Location

    Cnr. Nicholson & Miller Streets, Brunswick

  • Contact

    Sam D'Amico

Development Summary

The construction of a six-storey, mixed-use development (plus basement) accommodating shops, food and drink premises (café), 66 dwellings and associated car parking.

Project Characteristics

This exciting project was designed by ClarkeHopkinsClarke for Lucent Capital and seeks to convert an old service station site into an environmentally friendly and socially conscious gateway to the Balfe Park Precinct.

Whilst effectively one attached building, the development has been split into two. The portion of the building fronting Nicholson Street contains ground level commercial/retail uses and 38 apartments above. The 38 dwellings were designed to be a Nightingale Housing development, with the 28 Miller Street apartments being a ‘typical’ apartment. However, there is nothing typical about this development, which achieves a 7.5 NatHERS rating.

Nightingale Housing is a not-for-profit social enterprise that exists to support, promote and advocate for high-quality housing that is ecologically, socially, financially sustainable. Nightingale Housing requires that developments be 100% fossil fuel free, have a capped and transparent project profits, which creates an ability to provide for housing at below market cost, seeks to provide a positive contribution to the neighbourhood and promotes social sustainability by building in social connection and community management.

Both buildings have great internal amenity, with no borrowed light or saddleback apartments, ample areas of private and communal open space and a communal laundry on the roof of the Nicholson Street building.

ratio: is proud to have been involved with this project. 



20-22 Queens Road

  • Client

    JD Group Pty Ltd

  • Council

    Port Phillip City Council

  • Location

    20-22 Queens Road, Melbourne

  • Contact

    Simon Martin

Development Summary

Construction of a 16-storey iconic residential building which includes a mix of luxury apartments overlooking regionally significant Albert Park and broader environs.

Project Characteristics                                                     The site presented a unique development opportunity for the construction of a multi-storey residential building. 

ratio: worked closely with Rothe Lowman Architects Pty Ltd through the design development stage to realise the approval of an iconic development of architectural excellence. The building, known as "Victoriana" was launched to the market in May 2017 with construction scheduled for late 2017 - early 2018.

Of note, the site is affected by a number of prescriptive planning controls contained within the Port Phillip Planning Scheme, with the Design and Development Overlay recommending a 40.0 metre maximum building height.

The challenge for the team was to convince VCAT of the merits of a taller building on this strategic development site. Following detailed negotiations with Council and objectors, the application was ultimately supported by VCAT, with an “on the spot” approval granted by in May 2015. Despite the recommended 40.0 metre height restriction, the Tribunal was supportive of a development with a maximum height of 54.22 metres.

Richmond High School


280 Highett Street and 16 Gleadell Street

  • Client

    Victorian School Building Authority

  • Council

    City of Yarra

  • Location

    280 Highett & 16 Gleadell Streets, Richmond

  • Contact

    Russell Fairlie

Project Summary

ratio: was engaged by the Victorian School Building Authority to assess the traffic and parking impacts of the creation of the new Richmond High School across two inner urban sites in the heart of Richmond. The project is the second vertical school to open in Melbourne.

The site at 280 Highett Street will be developed as the ‘Academic Precinct’ within a contemporary four storey building, comprising primarily classrooms and administration areas, along with outdoor learning and recreation areas.  The nearby site at 16 Gleadell Street will be developed into a ‘Multi-Purpose Building’, comprising four netball courts (including one indoor netball/basketball court), along with multipurpose rooms and change rooms.

Richmond High School will ultimately have an enrolment of 650 students across Years 7-12 once fully operational.

Construction is underway and it is proposed that the initial Year 7 students will begin in Term 1 of 2018, and will be taught at the multi-purpose facility.  The academic precinct is proposed to open in Term 1 of 2019 for the second stream of Year 7 students as well as students moving into Year 8.

The school’s location within the heart of Richmond provides excellent access to a wide range of transport options and it is positioned close to existing community infrastructure and services.

The school will encourage the use of sustainable transport modes and Ratio worked closely with the VSBA, Council and Hayball Architects to ensure that the surrounding precinct has appropriate facilities for safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycle access.

Ratio, in association with the VSBA also worked closely with other key stakeholders in the precinct, including the City of Yarra, Lynall Hall Community School, Richmond Multicultural Children's Centre, Leo Berry's Boxing Gym, Gleadell Street Market Traders and the Richmond Union Bowls Club to ensure that their needs were considered throughout the planning phase.

As part of the proposal, it is intended to make the ‘Multi-Purpose Building’ available for external community use.

ALDI stores


Various locations

  • Client

    ALDI Stores

  • Council

    Various Councils

  • Location

    Victoria wide

  • Contact

    Colleen Peterson

Development Summary

As part of our ongoing involvement with ALDI Stores applications, ratio: is pleased to have gained two approvals for new stores over the past month.

ALDI Burwood

This project involved the approval of a new ALDI store on Burwood Highway, on a parcel of land formerly used as a car sales yard. A somewhat awkward ‘L-Shaped’ lot, this project called for a unique design response that utilised the existing multi- level basement car park, dual street access, and adequately dealt with potential residential amenity impacts, traffic and liquor.

Adapting the existing conditions also presented a number of challenges in relation to flooding and meeting ESD requirements, requiring the project team to work closely with Council to achieve an outcome that was both practical and viable for the client.

The proposal received support from Whitehorse City Council and VicRoads earlier this year.

ALDI Boronia

After many months of hard work, this combined Planning Scheme Amendment and Planning Permit Application received support from the Minister last week (late April 2017).

Located within the Boronia Activity Centre, this site presented an excellent opportunity for ALDI Stores to located in a growing commercial area. However, the subject site, along with a number of other properties on the same street were zoned Commercial 2, limiting the range of uses permitted. In this instance, without access to a road in a Road Zone, a Supermarket was prohibited.

Lodgement of a detailed submission and close liaison with Knox Council lead to the re-zoning of all the adjoining properties from Commercial 2 to Commercial 1, which will facilitate the realisation of strategic objectives for the activity centre. This amendment also enabled the approval of the planning permit application for a new Supermarket and Shop at the subject site which was also supported by Council and ultimately, the Minister.