Smooth sailing for luxury development inspired by historic shipwreck

March 19, 2019
New luxury apartments in Melbourne’s Bayside honour local landmark, HMVS Cerberus

Lowe Living’s Lumiere Black Rock apartments were designed by Warren and Mahoney with inspiration from the historic HMVS Cerberus that rests nearby. Cerberus was a 19th Century naval ship that protected Melbourne and its Port Philip Bay before World War II. The shipwreck now serves as a breakwater and scuba diving hot spot in the Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Black Rock, the site of the new luxury apartments.

The homage to Cerberus is more than a nod to the development’s surroundings; reflecting the coastline’s characteristics and the local landmark in the design was a strategic move by Warren and Mahoney to create a design that is grounded in local identity. Melbourne’s affluent Bayside suburbs are known among developers as a difficult region to secure planning approval, but the approach of creating a considered and referential design garnered community support and earned Lumiere quick endorsement from Bayside Council, with zero objection.

The nautical homage brings distinguished luxury to the two- and three-bedroom dwellings, with curved stone façades and round kitchen islands that mimic the curved turrets of a ship, and gunmetal tapware and engineered oak floors that add to the subtle motif.

As a further nod to the development’s location, Lumiere’s façade comprises split-face limestone cladding on the second storey and smooth stone walls at street level. This mimics the Red Bluff cliffs above Black Rock beach, textured cliff faces that are smooth at the waterline.

Principal Nick Deans says, “The heart of our design process is an understanding of identity and place, so with every design, we begin by researching the location and community.”

“With Lumiere Black Rock, we’ve drawn inspiration from the HMVS Cerberus’s curved geometry. This manifests in the walls that lead you into the building, the leading edge of the balconies and the curved edges on the benchtops.”

Lowe Living Managing Director Tim Lowe says, “We wanted Lumiere Black Rock to be a true reflection of its breathtaking surroundings. In that, the Lumiere residences embody the Black Rock community, the beautiful coastline and showcase the best of Bayside living.”

“We chose to partner with Warren and Mahoney because they bring international expertise and best practices to their work. Our collaboration with Principal Nick Deans allowed us to really bring these six identifiable residences to life. He sought to truly connect with the local landscape and local area to create a design that is grounded in its local identity.”

Lumiere Black Rock apartments, located at 68 Bluff Road, are now available for sale. Learn more at

Renders by Gavin Scott, 3D