Tower to rise from modernist Yuncken Freeman office

The City of Melbourne has voted in favour of a Bates Smart designed proposal for a student accomodation tower to be built atop a modernist office building by Yuncken Freeman.

Flagstaff House, at the corner of King and Batman Streets in central Melbourne, is a two-storey International Style building that was built in 1955 and served as the office for Yuncken Freeman. The building faces Flagstaff Gardens on King Street and opposite the site on Batman Street is the St James Old Cathedral. The design was inspired by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, among others. The building is identified as a “B” graded building in the Melbourne City Council’s Heritage Inventory. The property was sold to foreign investors in 2016 for $14.6 million.

Bate Smart’s design calls for the retention of the facade of the building with some alteration and demolition of the interior. The student accomodation tower would sprout from the existing roof, with the tower forms distinguished by a setback and an intermediary level with a roof terrace.

King Street student accomodation building by Bates Smart.

King Street student accomodation building by Bates Smart.

Image: Bates Smart

The 20-storey tower would be clad in dark, copper-coloured aluminium panels and sunshades that relate to the black frame of the Freeman Yuncken offices. The facade would make use of a modernist-inspired grid that act as another commonality. The building would be operated by Iglu Student Accomodation.

The Bates Smart design is the latest in a number of proposals for the site. A prior proposal for the site was for a hotel, designed by Fender Katsalidis, which was also approved by the Future Melbourne Committee in October 2018. The current application approved by the Future Melbourne Committee switched the proposed use from hotel to student accomodation and the design does not change the building envelope or proposed built form significantly.

An earlier proposal, designed by Push Architecture, was rebuffed by the council and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in April 2017, due to the way the design interacted with the heritage building.

Related topics

More news

See all
Enrico Taglietti. Canberra visionary Enrico Taglietti posthumously recognized in Australia Day Honours

Enrico Taglietti has been posthumously appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2020 Australia Day Honours

Fishermans Bend Secondary School by Billard Leece Partnership. Works begin on Fishermans Bend vertical high school

Conceived by Billard Leece Partnership, the architectural design of the school is inspired by the area’s maritime and industrial history.

Port Hedland International Airport by Woods Bagot. Major upgrade to remote Pilbara international airport

Woods Bagot’s new terminal for Port Hedland International Airport will be more than 800 square metres larger than the existing structure.

M3 Architecture director Michael Lavery. Michael Lavery appointed president of Institute’s Qld chapter

The M3 Architecture director will lead the Australian Institute of Architects’ Queensland chapter for a two-year term.

Most read

Latest on site

Calendar