35 Spring Street by Bates Smart
Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing: The Frederick Romberg Award
Australian Institute of Architects
This new landmark for Melbourne is situated at the far eastern boundary of the Hoddle Grid, adjacent to Flinders Lane and opposite Treasury Gardens, and it defines an urban edge to the CBD. The forty-four-storey residential tower incorporates 241 luxury apartments with amenities including a twenty-five-metre indoor lap pool, a fully equipped gymnasium, a private wine cellar, lounge and dining facilities and a barbecue.
The tower’s facade reflects a layering of fabric inspired by Flinders Lane’s establishment of the fashion industry in the 1880s and patterning found in the historic masonry walls of significant political buildings that characterize Spring Street. Providing apartments with defined windows and creating protected terraces and balconies, this weave or pattern enhances the character of individual residences within a tall building.
The apartments are generously proportioned, featuring high-end crafted finishes that are rich and textural. The jury was impressed by the way the architects engaged in the complex detail planning and trade-off between car parking and apartment spaces and by the fact that they have given something back to the city with this elegant tower. Similarly impressive was the way the architects prioritized shared amenity spaces at ground level, where off-form concrete columns line the perimeter of a lobby space with a striking fireplace and a variety of seating, akin to any five-star hotel. In this urban sanctuary, residents can relax and meet their neighbours.