CK Designworks predicts the future of Melbourne CBD in Crystal Gardens project
Australian architecture firm CK Designworks has designed an expressive 35-storey residential and commercial mixed use building for Melbourne’s CBD that will contain landscaped community gardens on every sixth floor - equivalent to approximately double the area of the site - with trees up to 10m tall.
Project architect and partner of CK Designworks, Robert Caulfield said the 35 storey building, to be known as Crystal Gardens was on a tiny 360 sq m block (about half the size of an average Melbourne house block) but would still have enormous park areas set aside for the residents. “We have achieved this by in effect designing a vertical street with a pocket park at every sixth floor, facing north, east or west so they will be usable in every season”, Mr. Caulfield details.
“Melbourne consistently rates as one of the world’s most liveable cities, partly due to its expansive parks and gardens and Melbourne City Council has done a fantastic job of landscaping Melbourne at street level, but developers should now look at rooftop gardens and high rise parks as the next step in the greening of Melbourne. This is a trend already being seen in other cities such as New York.”
The development will include ground floor retail, three floors of offices and 154 apartments, which will set new standards of sustainability. Design architect Belinda Griffin said that rainwater will be collected from the facades and used for garden watering and toilet flushing. Energy efficient lights and water efficient appliances will be used throughout and an innovative heating, cooling and hot water supply plant would be located in each garden area, minimising pipe runs.
The building will be clad in heat reflective glass and with its faceted balconies will have the appearance of a sparkling crystal punctuated by greenery. Mr. Caulfield said that the corner site would make the building very prominent and CK Designworks was investigating the options for feature lighting so that the crystal garden like appearance would become a significant landmark for Melbourne in the early evening hours.