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John Wardle Architects’ Melbourne CBD office tower complete

A 16-storey John Wardle Architects designed commercial tower in central Melbourne has been completed.

The $164 million tower at 271 Spring Street will be the the headquarters of health insurer Australian Unity. The building accommodates office spaces, function spaces and a roof terrace.

The tower sits atop two existing heritage buildings – the Elms Family Hotel (1924-25) designed by architect Harry James and the Church of England Mission Hall (1894-1913) designed Bates Pebbles and Smart.

An existing building between the Elms Hotel and Mission building was demolished and replaced with double storey entry. The new building takes inspiration from its neighbours and the new entry is made with interpretive brickwork to mirror rhythm of the existing buildings in streetscape.

Together the three elements from a brick podium from which the tower rises. The facade of the tower, which cantilevers over the podium, features sunshading elements the geometry of which is extrapolated from the shape of historic hip roof forms.

The project completes ISPT’s decades-long plans for the Lonsdale precinct, which also includes the Urban Workshop designed by JWA, Hassell and NH Architecture, completed in 2006.

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