The General

The General is an 8 storey, mixed-use development, located in central Northcote. The building is the first in Australia to use solar photovoltaic glass on a façade – providing a high quality, 7.5-star energy rated, sustainable alternative to typical apartment buildings.

Situated on High Street, means it’s location facilitates the major activity & community hubs of the inner north of Melbourne. As this area is heavily gentrified, entry into the suburb is becoming less affordable for those seeking to make it home. One of the main differentiators of The General was that it would be the first building of its size to offer a response to this issue. 

The name of the development, The General, is derived from the client’s journey from migrant to successful business owner. Part of the brief was that this building would be bold, innovative and a leader in its design and approach. One of the unique features of the design is the façade. By making the most of the corner location the structure incorporates curved glass walls, which wrap the frontage. This glazing was imprinted with a subtle image of a Victorian general on a horse, which can be illuminated at night and relates back to the original concept.

The Onyx Solar photovoltaic glass, supplied by ETS, was used across the northern facade as balustrading, covering an area of approximately 130m2. We collaborated with ETS to develop the product to ensure it could be engineered into a sufficient balustrade with adequate strength and resistance to force. Technically speaking, photovoltaic glass displays a solar factor of 10%, making it an ideal candidate to achieve control over the interior temperature and it allows The General to generate 2,075 kWh per year and prevents the release of 1.95 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. This energy is used for a mix of light, power and mechanical equipment in common areas. 

Project Details


Northcote, Melbourne

Completion date


Mixed-Use Building

Built over 6 land titles
87 Apartments
Office Space
3 levels of basement car parking


7.5 Star NatHERS Rating
25,000L Water Storage
130m2 Onyx Solar Photovoltaic Glass Balustrade
137 Bicycle Parks


WINNER – International Property Awards Asia Pacific Region (Multi-residential Architecture)
WINNER – International Property Awards Asia Pacific Region (Residential Development)
Shortlisted – Sustainability Awards 2018
Shortlisted-International Design & Architecture Awards 2018