Zaha Hadid’s first Melbourne tower approved

The Victorian government has approved a $300-million tower designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and Plus Architecture.

The tower, located at 582–606 Collins Street in Melbourne’s CBD, will include 420 apartments, retail and office spaces, as well as a public domain comprising a plaza, a publicly accessible terrace, a ground floor art space and a new pedestrian link.

The tower has been designed as a series of stacked volumes, which resemble vases. Each volume tapers towards its base, which serves to break down the verticality of the tower while at the same time creating additional public space where the volumes meet.

Proposed tower for 582–606 Collins Street, Melbourne by Zaha Hadid Architects and Plus Architecture.

Proposed tower for 582–606 Collins Street, Melbourne by Zaha Hadid Architects and Plus Architecture.

A series of sculptural columns surrounds each volume of the building to create uniform facades on all sides. The facade design references and emulates the historic architecture of Melbourne’s CBD, reinterpreting it as filigree colonnades enveloping the building.

The design also establishes uniformity between the podium, tower and surrounding landscape elements. “The design has been defined by Melbourne’s rich and diverse urban landscape, reinterpreted in a contemporary solution driven by the logical division of its overall volume that will enhance the city’s public realm with generous communal spaces,” said Zaha Hadid Architects’ Michele Pasca di Magliano.

<!— /5912001/AAU_AU_MR_side_300x250 —> <div id=’div-gpt-ad-1490926265173-2-mob’> <script> googletag.cmd.push(function() { // googletag.pubads().refresh([gptRespAdSlots[0]]); googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1490926265173-2-mob’); }); </script> </div>

The project was assessed under the interim planning controls for Melbourne’s CBD, which stipulate a maximum plot ratio of 24:1. In April 2016, the government proposed new changes that would see the ratio dropped to 18:1.

The original proposed height of the tower was 185.5 metres, which exceeded the plot ratio limit at 26.4:1. Through the assessment process, the height was reduced to 176 metres to prevent overshadowing of the Yarra River. The reduced height still exceeds the plot ratio limit at 25:1. But in a statement released by the Acting Minister for Planning Jill Hennessy, the minister said the public realm benefits allowed the building to exceed the plot ratio requirements.

“This stand-out design will enhance the city’s skyline,” Hennessy said.

The project’s approval is supported by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, City of Melbourne and Office of Victorian Government Architect.

In May 2016, the City of Melbourne recommend the tower for approval after the council failed to achieve a quorum. The City of Melbourne planning officer’s report stated, “the development will not overwhelm or dominate the public realm or adjoining buildings,” and “apartment sizes are good [with] no reliance on typical saddlebag layouts.”

The approved tower is the first Melbourne project designed by 2004 Pritzker Prize Laureate Zaha Hadid, who died suddenly in April this year. When completed, the tower will be among Zaha Hadid Architects’ first Australian projects to be realized, including the Grace on Coronation towers in Brisbane and Mariners Cove towers on the Gold Coast.

“The late Zaha Hadid has been described as a starchitect [and] Melbourne will now have a piece of her artistic flare,” Hennessy said.

Jess Liew, director of Plus Architecture, said, “Zaha will forever be part of our city’s urban fabric with this monumental project a testament to her and the legacy she leaves behind.”

Related topics

More news

See all
Protagonist by Cumulus Studio. New Arts Centre cafe sheathed in bronze curtain

The design of a new cafe in the forecourt of the Roy Grounds-designed Arts Centre play on an iconic and universally understood element of theatre.

Adelaide's Central Market Arcade redevelopment designed by Woods Bagot. Adelaide's Central Market Arcade to be reborn in $400m redevelopment

In a plan designed by Woods Bagot, a number of historic arches in Adelaide that were lost for decades will be reinstated in a $400 …

Ian Potter Queen's Hall by Architectus and Schmidt Hammer Lassen. State Library of Victoria reopened after grand transformation

The State Library of Victoria, the world’s fourth-most popular, has reopened after years-long redevelopment revealing historic spaces hidden for decades.

Castle Cove House by Terroir in collaboration with Pascale Gomes-McNabb Design. Australian projects nab awards at World Architecture Festival

Australian projects have picked up three awards World Architecture Festival and Inside Festival of Interiors following live presentations to judges.