Located on the western boundary of Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD), at the nexus between Collins Street and the Docklands, within an area of the city that is evolving into a new commercial precinct in its own right.
The Collins Street façade is comprised of an colonnade of sculptural, curved columns that supports a unique façade system. These solid elements embody the traditions inherent within finest examples of historic architecture in Melbourne’s CBD, yet reinterpret them in a contemporary solution that is driven by the building’s structural integrity and the logical division of its overall volume.
Evolving from the city’s very distinct urban fabric, the arrangement of the proposed tower takes inspiration from its mixed-use program, converting the building’s overall volume into a series of smaller stacked ‘vases’. Central to the concept is the break-down of the vertical volume by the design team to establish a coherent relationship between tower, podium and surrounding streetscapes.
In addition to housing a different programmatic element, each ‘vase’ gently tapers inwards to offer additional communal space at its base, inviting the interaction fostered at a street level to continue inside the podium, where a public amenities, retail and commercial spaces, as well as easily accessible civic spaces have been included to promote public engagement. A significant proportion of the ground level is given over to public realm, with external areas dedicated as a new plaza accessible 24 hours a day
The design improves the flow of pedestrian traffic and increases connectivity with existing transport infrastructure, which includes the adjacent Southern Cross railway station and existing tram network that runs parallel to the site.
The creation of a new pedestrian route that connects Collins with Francis Street, further alleviating pressure at the Collins/Spencer Street junction. 350 bicycle parking spaces and bays for electric vehicles and shared car clubs are included within the design.
A delicate filigree envelops the building, including the Francis Street service areas to ensure there is no sense of “back of house” to the surrounding areas. Designed to use 50 per cent less energy than a conventional mixed-use tower, this filigreed façade contributes to a reduction in the direct solar gain of the building and emissions. High performance glazing system, high efficiency central cooling, high efficiency lighting and grey-water reuse systems will be incorporated to reduce consumption of resources and further lower the emissions.