Low-Density Greatness – South Crescent by Neometro, Main Projects and Common Ground

Words by Millie Thwaites
Architecture by Common Ground
Photography by Derek Swalwell
Build by Main Projects
Landscape Design by Mud Office
Branding by Studio Hi Ho

It’s a clever thing to convey an easy-going unpretentiousness while remaining sharp and refined. Neometro continually strikes this balance, and its latest project, South Crescent, illustrates the company’s sympathetic approach to property development, honed from years of experience and motivations to build design-focused and socially- led dwellings.

Renowned for its exceptional examples of medium-density housing, this low-density project is, as Neometro Founder Jeff Provan says, “a nice little foray back into what we were doing years ago with smaller groups of townhouses.” Designed by Common Ground and developed in collaboration with, as well as built by, Main Projects, South Crescent encompasses four family-sized homes that sit gently within the urban context of Melbourne’s Northcote. Local Landscape Architect Mud Office has cultivated lush water-efficient native gardens, while the architecture actively engages with the streetscape through its thoughtful shape and form.

Neometro’s latest project, South Crescent in Northcote, encompasses four family-sized homes which prioritise natural light, tactile materials, and sustainable design principles. Thoughtful landscaping by local firm Mud Office enriches the interiority and helps to settle the building into the surrounding suburban fabric.

The four dwellings prioritise beauty, functionality and sustainability. Intuitive spatial planning and generous ceiling heights with exposed beams give way to uncomplicated light-filled homes that feel interesting and open. There are stainless steel surfaces and granite benchtops alongside concrete floors and brick walls. This robust palette of materials is crisp but not cold. In fact, the effect is inviting and unfussy. Generous sightlines and connections to the outdoors become elements of the design too, enhancing the interiority and extending the experience beyond the threshold. There are also window seats tucked into deep timber-clad reveals, encouraging moments of contemplation within these considered, future-focused homes.

Neometro’s Development Director, Lochlan Sinclair, is also the project’s architect alongside Sophie Nicholaou. Together, the pair has a strong relationship with Stephen O’Neill of Main Projects. As Lochlan says, “you can’t get a much closer synergy between architect, builder and developer,” adding, “it’s this close synergy that enables us to get the absolute maximum from a project in terms of quality and design outcomes.” For example, the team engaged skilled carpenter Matt Saunders to oversee all the project’s carpentry. It’s a premium finish, and a worthwhile and lasting contribution that demonstrates Neometro’s commitment to longevity.

Many of the desirable elements we associate with domestic spaces – natural light, tactility in materiality, connection to landscape and more – are neatly curated here at South Crescent thanks to a tight-knit and highly skilled team. It’s a project that continues, if not strengthens, Neometro’s strong record of down-to-earth, purposeful property development.