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Reconfigured Melbourne Precinct Looks to City’s Future with Sustainability and Performance Goals
Collins Street—revered for both its historic Victorian architecture and high-end shopping—will get its first office building in over two decades. This new mixed-use project aims to revive this crook of the city with its sustainability and performance in a four-part project made up of a new commercial tower, boutique hotel, renovations to the existing commercial tower, and a podium base linking the entire block. Built along the corner of Collins and Exhibition Street, the 32-story South Tower of the project will display an expressive façade. The faceted, glass exterior references the local street lanterns of Collins Street—a local symbol for the city—but will also manage the amount of daylight allowed into the interior.
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At night, a discrete lighting installation will be on display. A 12-meter-deep cantilever supports its beacon hovering over original Victorian buildings. The frame incorporates a rectilinear super grid that continues this configuration throughout the podium base. Additional diagonal bracing structure and transfer points in the building exoskeleton help to stabilize it. The continuation of these lines along the façade creates a visually narrowing effect for the northern part of the dual tower composition. A technologically advanced “twin” elevator system allows for the core to become much more condensed, with a total of 16 cars installed into eight shafts with two main rises: mid and high. The system allows for lift cars within the same passage to move independently of one another. The South Tower is aiming to be the first 6 Green Star commercial building in this district.
A new 19-story boutique hotel accessed from Little Collins Street west of the office tower will provide 285 rooms. Similar to both the retail façades and South Tower, the building is marked by its structural frame with a large grid component but it will be slightly different in that it will also provide privacy and solar protection for its interiors.
The existing commercial tower occupying 80 Collins will be reoriented to be accessed via Exhibition Street. Its elevated lobby will be demolished to allow this new entry point with a series of gentle inclines that will connect the laneways to further the connectivity within the development.
The podium base is comprised of 5,000 square meters of street-level retail and commercial spaces that will knit together the entire block. Its height and form respond to traditional street characteristics and the rhythm of its historic neighbors. Internal laneways will also be integrated within this space to link the surrounding streets and perpetuate the city’s pedestrian connectivity.
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