New online development platform

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FCAD McNab Avenue Development by BKK Architects — a Citiniche project partner.

FCAD McNab Avenue Development by BKK Architects — a Citiniche project partner.

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Bell Street Apartments by Jackson Clements Burrows — a Citiniche project partner.

Bell Street Apartments by Jackson Clements Burrows — a Citiniche project partner.

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A new online property development platform, the brainchild of Melbourne architect Ivan Rijavec, is design-focused and client-oriented.

It is the oft-repeated conundrum of multi-residential architecture – designing something as personal as a home for unknown clients. Citiniche, a new online property development platform recently launched by a team of Melbourne-based practitioners from the architecture, planning, digital technology and branding industries, aims to overcome this challenge by offering a new way to connect developers to these normally faceless clients.

The new website effectively crowd-sources potential residents who subscribe to “niches” matching their demographics and interests and are able to enter preferences and ideas about their ideal dwelling. As developers list projects on the Citiniche site they can contact niches that fit the profile of future residents, and users can sign up to stay updated on the project development, and contribute to the design process by participating in workshops with the design team.

Citiniche recently announced that 7 Harbour Terrace, located in Docklands precinct Digital Harbour, is the first development site to use the platform. By using Citiniche, Digital Harbour will be able to locate prospective residents of the planned multi-residential building who want to be involved in its design.

The managing director of Citiniche is architect and urban designer Ivan Rijavec, of Rijavec Architecture. Rijavec was co-director of Australia’s benchmark 2010 Venice Biennale exhibition, and he also has experience in property development. The other Citiniche team members include specialists in IT, GIS and digital technology, planning and creative branding. The website was launched in early March 2013 by City of Yarra Mayor, Jackie Fristacky and Victoria’s Government Architect, Geoffrey London at Pin-up Project Space. They were joined by project partners Hickory Group, Rijavec Architecture, BKK Architects, Creo Libera, Jackson Clements Burrows, Hamton and Robert Simeoni Architects.

The Citiniche model builds on existing property development crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding operations across the world such as the UK’s Spacehive and the USA-based The Better Block.


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