One of a Kind


There are many businesses in Canberra shouting from the rooftops about their sustainable practices, eco-friendly environments and low impact credentials. They should too, because Canberrans are concerned about their surroundings.

One of a Kind Apartments in Dickson isn’t shouting. It’s quietly murmuring in keeping with its secluded surroundings. But this family-run accommodation is certainly walking the walk, providing what it calls a “distinctive urban eco-tourist experience.”

Stuart Forsyth is an acupuncturist, Zen Buddhist and artist, skills and qualities which he has poured into the development of these apartments. The result is a sympathetic, sustainable and high quality building which took four years to evolve. With the help of Stuart’s son-in-law, Michael, who helped with the design and his son, Sunny, project managing, this complex of six serviced apartments opened in 2014. His wife, Barbara, now runs the business with the help of their daughters, Faith and Casuarina, so this is truly a family business.
The apartments are constructed from repurposed materials including corrugated iron used to separate the terraces from each another, pre-loved hardwoods and recycled form ply made into bedheads. Artisans’ tools have been embedded into the polished concrete floor of the foyer and repurposed art has been made from copper trays, old spanners and spirit levels.

The apartments are Canberra’s first 8.0 EER energy rating multi-unit development, and every aspect of the building design and the way the business is run is as environmentally conservative as possible, to the extent that they have a published “eco mission” which outlines how they minimise waste, conserve natural resources and partner with local like-minded businesses.

The gardens are planted with low water and native greenery, which provides a habitat for native birds and wildlife. Each apartment has a compost bin, which is composted on site and used for the vegetable patch, herb garden and greenhouse. Guests are even encouraged to help themselves to the veggies and herbs grown in the garden.

All six apartments are styled around a different creative city and colour of the rainbow. San Francisco is yellow, Shanghai is red, Kyoto is indigo, Paris is blue, Yogyakarta is green and Mexico City is orange.

Having been here for 23 years, the whole family loves Canberra. As group, they have picked the layout of the city, the environment, the lifestyle, and the artistic culture as their favourite things. In fact, according to Casuarina “much of our design has been developed out of an appreciation for the unique assets of Canberra: its climate, environment, materials and lifestyle.”

They are also supportive of what Handmade Canberra is doing, showcasing local designers and giving rise to a more passionate and artistic city. Handmade can reflect this support right back. Businesses like One of A kind are the backbone of Canberra’s renaissance and we’re happy to share the love.


Caroline Leevers is responsible for the Handmade brand, including the website, Handmade Style, the newsletter and the online magazine. When she's not hanging out with the lovely Handmade team, she runs Callie & Co Design, a Canberra graphic design studio that crafts brands for small businesses. Her favourite things about Canberra are the seasons (especially Autumn), the big sky, the coffee and the great events.


  • 28 & 29JULY 2018
  • 20 & 21OCTOBER 2018
  • 7*, 8 & 9DECEMBER 2018
  • *FRIDAY5PM - 9PM
  • SAT & SUN10AM - 4PM


0402 247 532