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Clarke Street Apartment Development, Melbourne, Australia

Monday 06 Jan 2014

Get the skinny on the new 'pencil' tower

Clarke Street Apartment Development by BKK Architects in Melbourne, Australia
Clarke Street Apartment Development by BKK Architects in Melbourne, Australia Clarke Street Apartment Development by BKK Architects in Melbourne, Australia
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Melbourne's BKK Architects get approval for city's tallest skinny skyscraper 

Melbourne-based firm BKK Architects (Black Kosloff Knott) have received approval for their new skinny tower, set to be Melbourne's tallest narrow skyscraper, from the city's minster for planning, Matthew Guy.

The 73-storey, 230m-high tower, which will be just 12 metres wide at its narrowest point, will be located at 54-56 Clarke Street, near the Crown casino in Southbank. It is scheduled for completion in 2016.

The design of the tower has a slight twist, which should encourage natural light. It differs from other so-called pencil towers in that it displays a "slender, twisting flower stem design," Matthews said.

The tower's design strategies operate at three different perspectives: the larger urban context, the immediate public realm and also at the closest context; that of the inhabitant, BKK said.

At the urban scale, the project will provide Melbourne with a new landmark building. The project is located on the sweep of a major arterial freeway serving the central city. The views to the building from this busy corridor as cars move past the tower will create a dramatic and dynamic experience for commuters. The elongated building form has been rotated and profiled to accentuate and animate the experience.

The lower floors at street level have been designed to invigorate the public realm. Access for cars is designed within a sophisticated glass enclosure and state-of-the-art car lift system. This frees up the ground plane to facilitate a direct and engaging relationship to the street. The public space of the lobby is a generous double height volume with further void spaces that soar the full height of the seven level podium. Landscape integrated with the building fabric is an essential part of this experience.

The ground floor and street are activated with a café and seating areas for the occupants of the tower but also to provide much needed amenity to the surrounding area. The voronoi pattern on the ground plane merges seamlessly from the footpath, to the interior, to the podium above - drawing these elements together. 

The building will house 256 apartments, along with an elevated spa, sauna, pool deck, and shops and cafes at ground level.

On-site power generation, an innovative heating, cooling and ventilation system, integrated water management and innovative modular construction technology will all contribute to the project's sustainability features.


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