Harry Triguboff: my buildings aren't ugly

Friday, 13 January 2012

Influential Harbour city builder Harry Triguboff has a message: stop saying his apartment blocks are ugly.

The billionaire developer is sick of people describing his edifices as gauche, telling The Power Index the structures built by his company Meriton are of “high architectural quality”.

In a facsimile received by The Power Index’s Melbourne HQ, ‘High Rise Harry’ took umbrage with comments directed at his developments by a former NSW premier saying they are “insulting and damaging” to the Meriton brand name.

In a recent profile of Triguboff, named our seventh most powerful Sydneysider, one former NSW premier described his developments to The Power Index as “pretty awful stuff”.

"With wind tunnels, dark corners and pocket-sized open space, [citing a recent South Sydney development], but Harry builds what people want to buy, which is small apartments,” they said.

The Power Index’s Paul Barry also passed his own judgement, saying he thought it was a shame Triguboff’s buildings were “often so ugly”. It’s a charge that has been levelled at some of Meriton's designs before, including by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

But Triguboff has hit back, saying his developments are peer-reviewed by a Design Review Panel and often come as a result of design competitions amongst a “number of highly regarded award winning architectural firms”.

“Not only do you insult Meriton in these articles, you also insult the many reputable architectural firms that we use, the hundreds of contractors and supplier involved in the construction of these buildings and ultimately the thousands of buyers who continually flock to buy our product, and ultimate Sydney and Australia,” he wrote.

Over the past 45 years, Meriton has erected 55,000 apartments in Sydney, including its highest residential building, the 74-storey World Tower.

*Read the full letter.