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Six international teams vie to design $2b Melbourne Southbank development

Developer Beulah International has announced the six international teams competing to design a “landmark” mixed-use development in Melbourne’s Southbank.

The developer envisions an integrated mixed-use concept for a prominent site the corner of Southbank Boulevard and City Road. The project could include retail, a hotel, residential, commercial and cultural uses, and public spaces.

The project, to be named Southbank by Beulah, is slated to have an end value of more than $2 billion.

The shortlisted teams include some of the world’s most highly lauded and influential architects, such as 2000 Pritzker Prize laureate Rem Koolhaas who heads Dutch practice Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, who was named one of 100 Most Influential People by Time Magazine in 2016, and Chinese architect Ma Yansong (of Mad Architects), who was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2014.

The shortlisted teams are:

  • Bjarke Ingels Group with Fender Katsalidis Architects
  • Coop Himmelblau with Architectus
  • Mad Architects with Elenberg Fraser
  • MVRDV with Woods Bagot
  • Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) with Conrad Gargett
  • UN Studio with Cox Architecture

Of the shortlisted international practices, only one – OMA – has had built work in Australia. OMA completed the 2017 MPavilion, and its new building for the Western Australian Museum, designed with Hassell, is due to be completed in 2020. UN Studio had worked on a competition entry a tower proposal at 447 Collins Street in Melbourne, but the project will be designed by SHoP Architects and Woods Bagot. Bjarke Ingles Group, is among the shortlisted practices competing to design Adelaide Contemporary.

The shortlisted practices will present to a yet-to-be-named seven-member jury on 17 May. The jury, which will be made up of independent representatives from architecture and design, and government, as well as the developer and other private interests, will select a winner in July. The developer has appointed Ross Clark as competition advisor.

Beulah International purchased the site in December 2017 for reportedly more than $100 million. The site is on a prominent corner of Southbank Boulevard and City Road and is currently occupied by a BMW car dealership. According to a commercial real estate agent, it is the “last remaining undeveloped parcel” of land in Southbank.

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