Royal Shores at Ermington [DRAFT]



Project Overview

In collaboration, PAYCE and Sekisui House Australia have not only created a new waterfront community through Royal Shores, they introduced and unlocked the Harbour for the entire suburb of Ermington and brought it to life in an exciting and imaginative way.

Royal Shores consists of nine buildings and 632 sold out apartments that completed in December 2016. The development builds on a long, shared history of transforming places and building communities and is set right on the waterfront at the gateway to Sydney Harbour.




M Projects, Development and Project Managers
Rice Daubney, Concept Design Architect
Robertson + Marks, Documenting Architect
James Pfeiffer Landscape Design, Landscape Design Architect
LINK Sales & Marketing
RARE ID, Brand Management

Project Brief

Royal Shores, a most unique masterplanned community, draws on the harbour front site’s rich maritime history. This extraordinary masterplan is one of the most recognisable architectural statements on Sydney Harbour and the living environments contain incredible all seasons living rooms, unique to Royal Shores. These innovative spaces offer residents the opportunity of true inside/outside living leading them to a newly upgraded foreshore. Throughout the built form, the interiors and the site itself, there are many wonderful references to Sydney’s maritime heritage. As well as the foreshores newly-created Halvorsen Park and playground, streets also carry the maritime history as references to a bygone era.

Royal Shores, Sydney’s newest waterfront community, delivers terrific aspect and views back down the Harbour to the city skyline. It offers a proposed ferry service to serve the new community and has access to 430 hectares of parklands, foreshore walks, cycle ways and a wonderful new children’s playground, right on the doorstep.

Project Innovation/Need

Royal Shores echoes the existing materiality, form and finer rhythm of the existing suburb but in a contemporary way. The break-up of the apartments mimic a terrace module emphasised by the saw tooth roofs, which is a nod to the former use of the site as naval stores. This finer break-up of built form helps to disrupt the length of the waterfront lots and gives a much more appropriate sense of scale commensurate with a residential street.

The layout of each of the buildings is organised around a central open courtyard which maximises daylight, ventilation and a sense of privacy into the apartments. Circulation is provided by a series of interlinking and overlapping steel and concreate bridges adding to the visual intricacy of the central landscaped courtyards. Balconies link the waterfront to the communal courtyard spaces maximising views, privacy and creating a timber clad outdoor room.

Design Challenge

The all seasons living areas (Winter Gardens) are areas that were a highlight with purchasers and the design team. These areas allow residents to utilise the living area in all-weather situations. It also allows flexibility of these spaces to become a dining area, rumpus room, defacto balcony or games room. These areas were not classified within the GFA.

Internal bridges also contribute to the unique nature of Royal Shores, with the exception of two buildings, the rest have an internal steel and concrete bridge system with internal gardens that are designed to grow up through the open areas beside the structure to create a tropical forest feel. The installation of the bridges during and after the buildings were complete, was a complex and challenging issue.


Existing Stormwater infrastructure – Two of the waterfront lots had existing major stormwater infrastructure in the ground. This had to be maintained while the lots were excavated and carpark basements poured.

Construction in ground water – All Lots, with the exception of the northern buildings of Lot 306, had ground water issues with water showing at 1.6m below existing. The Lots had to have a sheet pile wall system which included concrete solider piles installed, then a series of bore holes with pumps to dry out the site prior to the basement excavation.

Car park under Pocket Parks – Two of the waterfront Lots included Council land between the buildings. As there is a shared basement between the two, the Pocket Parks were constructed above the basement and also included a marine structure for the existing stormwater. The system had to be engineered to be structurally designed to take the loadings and to ensure there were no water leakage issues through the structure.

Roof Structure – The saw tooth roofs are an identifying feature of the Royal Shores development that provide a linkage back to the warehouse and marine history of the locality and the use of extruded windows and weather board cladding (at high level) required design development to ensure that these elements could withstand the wind loads.

This award celebrates the design process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. Consideration given for material selection, technology, light and shadow.
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