Zaha Hadid Architects and Plus Architecture combine in Australia

Nick Myall
Tuesday 12 Jan 2016

Zaha Hadid Architects are collaborating with Plus Architecture to design their first tower in Melbourne, Australia

Designed as a series of ‘stacked vases’ this building is supported by an ‘elegant colonnade of sculptural, curved columns that embody and emulate the finest examples of historic architecture’ in this part of Melbourne, Australia. 

If approved, the proposal by Zaha Hadid Architects and Plus Architecture will add a mix of retail, commercial and residential programs to its site at 582-606 Collins Street.

The application submitted is for a 54 storey, mixed-use building in Melbourne’s Central Business District that incorporates retail, commercial and residential components with diverse apartment typologies and designs. Working in collaboration with Melbourne-based architecture firm, Plus Architecture and Australian developer Landream, this represents Zaha’s first project in Victoria, Australia.

The design aspiration is to elevate Melbourne’s status as a global city and the focus is on the balance of scale and density and the protection of heritage and character.

“The multiplicity of social and cultural attractions in the centre of Melbourne, which have made it the most liveable city in the world, have also naturally created a demand for new residential development,” says Zaha Hadid Architects Director Gianluca Racana.

“582-606 Collins Street aims to satisfy this demand and take advantage of design features, which will create new opportunities for public space and offer a great blend of mixed use programs,” says Gianluca Racana.

The site sits on the Western boundary of Melbourne’s Central Business District, at the nexus between Collins Street and the Docklands, within an area of the city that is evolving into a new commercial precinct in its own right.

The Collins Street façade is comprised of an elegant colonnade of sculptural, curved columns that supports Zaha Hadid Architects’ unique façade system. These solid elements seek to embody and emulate the finest examples of historic architecture that can be found within the Melbourne CBD, yet reinterpret them in a contemporary solution that is driven by the building’s structural integrity and the logical division of its overall volume.

A delicate filigree gently envelops the building, including the Francis Street service areas to ensure there is no sense of “back of house” to the surrounding areas. Designed to use 50 % less energy than a conventional mixed-use tower, this filigreed façade contributes to a reduction in the direct solar gain of the building and emissions. High performance glazing system, high efficiency central cooling, high efficiency lighting and grey-water reuse systems are also proposed to reduce consumption of resources and further lower the emissions.

Evolving from the city’s very distinct urban fabric, the arrangement of the proposed tower takes inspiration from its mixed-use program, converting the building’s overall volume into a series of smaller stacked ‘vases’. Central to the concept is the breakdown of the vertical volume by the design team to establish a coherent relationship between tower, podium and surrounding streetscapes.

Nick Myall

News Editor

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