Linking History

Architectural Intervention for a Melbourne Landmark Enhances its Relationship to its Surrounding Urban Context

Rialto Regeneration

Due to Melbourne’s rapid growth, the Rialto Tower site built in 1986 no longer met the city’s changing urban context. Comprised of two skyscrapers and a low-scale podium building, the landmark project was rotated at 45 degrees, which obscured the relationship between the buildings and the pedestrian area along Collins and King Street. The first step was to remove the original podium in order to eventually create a more visually coherent frontage and easier access to the new plaza. The solution were new commercial lobbies, a public plaza forecourt, and low-scale podium buildings.

Project details

Now, undulating seven-meter-high canopies made of glass and steel articulates both the north and south lobbies at the foot of the site while linking a Victorian heritage brick building with the new podium buildings. Complementing the local vernacular, the low-scale edifice provides an additional 6,000 square meters of workspace and displays a geometric glass façade with blue stain steel to be consistent with the original towers.

Melbourne, Australia
Rialto Joint Venture
6,500 square meters
Completion Date

Environmental Umbrella – bridges an irregular interstitial interface with existing, heritage and proposed buildings with minimal structure. Also collects water and mitigates wind for the site.