Tony Miller, Katarina Steube

This Apartment building in Australia designed by Fender Katsalidis was completed in 30 days using PPVC

Project TItle
Little Hero
Completion Year
Total Number of Containers Used
75 containers
Livable Units
63 Residences
Total Project Cost
27.4 Million AUD
Total Assembly Period
5 days
Total Construction Period
30 days
Apartment Sale Price
$350,000 AUD – $380,000 AUD
Delphine Holdings Pty Ltd
Unitised Building, Hickory
Fender Katsalidis

Little Hero is a Nonda Katsalidis designed retail and residential development in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. This boutique laneway development consists of 63 one and two bedroom city apartments and duplex penthouse residences. A cornerstone of the re-development of this emerging laneway, the new residences sit atop seven new up-market retail shops, cafes and restaurants.

Utilising a modular steel container construction system and a parallel on- and off-site construction program, the 8 storey building was erected in 4 weeks with, and end-to-end construction was completed in 9 months. Estimated total cost of construction was 27.4 million AUD. Modular container construction reduced construction time by more than 6 months, compared with a conventional build, and saved an estimated $4.2 million AUD in construction labor.

Project Description

[via Fender Katsalidis]

Named after nearby Hero Apartments—an earlier multi-residential project undertaken by the practice—the diminutive Little Hero accommodates 63 residences, with eight levels of one- and two-bedroom apartments topped by a crown of five duplex penthouses. Bringing colour—literally and figuratively—to an otherwise sombre Melbourne CBD alley, the vibrant geometries of the Piet Mondrian-inspired façade echo the building’s cellular nature, while a mix of upscale retail, cafés and restaurants enlivens the ground plane.

Little Hero is notable for being the world’s first full-scale commercial application of Unitised ™ Building System building technology, which divides construction into parallel on- and off-site operations. On site, the ground level and core were constructed using conventional concrete slab techniques. Off site, each apartment was ‘unitised’ into one or more steel-walled modules, and manufactured inclusive of fixtures, fittings, finishes and façade elements in a semi-automated production line. Application of this emergent technology resulted in all eight levels being erected in just four weeks: a saving of six months compared to a conventional build.


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