5 Minutes with Beulah’s Adelene Teh

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In the lead-up to Urbanity, on August 3-5 at The Star on the Gold Coast, The Urban Developer sat down with Beulah executive director Adelene Teh to discuss industry trends, Beulah’s business model and its projects as well as the importance of conferences such as Urbanity.

Teh will join Dare Property Group’s Danny Avidan and Sammut Group’s Allen Sammut as part of a panel discussion providing real perspectives from private property players on Thursday, August 4.

How has Beulah established and how does it maintain such a successful business model?

“We always aspire to be one step ahead. We continually think about the future and how people will evolve and subsequently, their lifestyle and way of living will evolve. 

Our philosophy at Beulah is to create transformational spaces and experiences for both present and future generations and this means always having a future lens and constantly innovating and pushing boundaries. 

Each of our projects is defined by rigorous research, civic-minded responsibility, innovative thinking and a passion for design and culture. This approach helps us to bring about positive change for cities, communities and individuals.

Which three existing projects best represent your business? 

Sth Bnk by Beulah is the next evolution of how people will live, work, play and explore. Set to become Australia’s tallest tower and the tallest vertical garden in the world, Sth Bnk by Beulah is a hyper-mixed project that is pioneering what it means to create a city within a city. 

It represents our approach to design and culture, technology, sustainability, and wellness – how these meld together to set a benchmark in liveable city design, while creating an integrated vertical living & community.  

The Wilds is an exceptionally rare opportunity to live next to nature in the heart of Northcote; architecturally designed homes that provide direct frontage to, and sweeping views of, the renowned Merri Creek. 

The first carbon neutral detached housing development in inner Melbourne, The Wilds is reflective of Beulah’s ongoing commitment to quality, sustainability and eco-conscious practices. 

Fawkner House is a bold, avant-garde sculptural vision; a progressive exploration of a truly high quality architecture & design. It goes beyond industry standards of achieving excellence and quality in a multi-residential building and reflects the long-standing prestige of its location through innovative design. 

Each apartment is reminiscent of a luxurious Melbourne house bathed in natural light and surrounded by greenery, with 3m plus ceilings. 

What are the three key trends you are noticing in residential apartment development?

“Holistic wellbeing is now more important than ever, and it’s something developers must be mindful of; how the development cultivates not only physical, but also mental and overall wellbeing, and how this interacts with the environment. 

This could be by way of biophilic design, “healthy” materials, greenery and more. This also extends to sustainability and ensuring we are designing for future generations with minimal environmental impact. 

“Amenities must mean more; no longer is it enough for amenities to serve how people live, but they must also support how people work, recover, entertain and much more. People are now looking for everything in one place to spend less time commuting – developers need to take a hyper-local approach to residential development to not only enrich the lives of residents but the surrounding community, too.

“Community is key to wellbeing. Developers need to be considering how the design encourages community and what type of programs and services they can curate, or support in curating, to ensure people aren’t living in a silo, but are instead integrating into and immersed in, community.” 

What are three must haves for a successful residential developer?

Having a future lens. It’s important to think about the evolution of how people will live, work and play and to consistently innovate and adapt. Development is a combination of art and science – you can have all the data to help inform current needs but you also need to be able to forecast future requirements to ensure you cater for future generations and uses. 

“Passion. Find out what drives you and what matters to you. Don’t be afraid to think of the impossible and surround yourself with a team that shares this vision with you. Be bold enough to think outside the box, it’s this attitude that can pave the way for change. 

“Optimism and tenacity are must haves for residential developers; property development is a long game and it’s important to maintain momentum and resolve, and being open minded to any challenges that present themselves. Having a solution mindset is paramount in overcoming these challenges.”

What advice would you give a budding property developer? 

Seize the opportunity and take calculated risks. Trust your gut but remain humble. Do due diligence but approach things with your own lens; embrace questions and challenges. 

At Beulah we embrace contradiction, not centrality, as we believe contradictions create energy. Believe in yourself and find out what your passion is as this will drive you, even when the going gets tough.

Three people on your radar that are doing exceptional work in the built environment?

Any work that brings a positive change in the built environment by introducing nature, bringing communities together, sparking inspiration to learn while at the same time adding value to the environment by reducing carbon footprint is highly commendable. Development and design has the power to truly transform communities and cities on a civic scale. 

Ben Van Berkel and Caroline Bos from UNStudio. UNStudio has been a practice that has always evolved through the years to support lifestyle changes, urban growth, sustainability and innovation across various scales and typologies of architecture. 

Bjarke Ingels Group. Bjarke’s ambition for saving the planet through architecture is inspiring. Pushing boundaries and having delivered many projects all at scale/typology that address climate change.

Nonda Katsalidis, founding partner of Fender Katsalidis, has pioneered catalytic change to the urban fabric of Melbourne city through architecture and design, art and placemaking since the early nineties.

A constant theme of his work has been ‘the search for better’ and in the pursuit of developing faster, more efficient and sustainable construction methods for projects of all scales and typologies, Nonda has recently established ‘Unitised Building’ – a modular pre-fab building system.

An inspiring book, research paper you’ve read recently or presentation you’ve attended?

“Recently, I attended a Lunch and Learn presentation by Kit Willow of Kitx, on the Future From Waste movement. 

As part of the experimental event series, Beta by Sth Bnk, the Future From Waste Lab is a revolutionary concept that turns waste into want by repurposing. It reimagines a radically sustainable future and is pioneering in exploring the future of retail.”

Why do you think it is important to have conferences like Urbanity?

“Conferences like Urbanity are imperative in the endless pursuit of knowledge and the ability to learn from one another. Having a platform like this to share best practice, to challenge ourselves and each other and to seek growth means we will grow together and we’ll see the industry evolve and improve. 

Of the vast array of speakers presenting at Urbanity who are you most looking forward to hearing from?

I’m looking forward to hearing from Robert Hamilton AM, co-founder of Mirvac. Mirvac is such a big brand that continues to do very well in business and have grown rapidly over the years. It’s also an Australian household name that is widely known throughout the country. 

I look forward to hearing what Robert has to share, as a pioneer in the industry with invaluable experience and knowledge across every aspect of property development. 


Join us as Urbanity brings together an unrivalled roster of the industry’s best developers, architects, place-makers, innovators and property professionals. 

Urbanity is a must-attend event for anyone that is involved in the development of cities and regions.