Zaha Hadid Architects has teamed up with Plus Architecture to design their first tower in Melbourne. The 54-story mixed use skyscraper is designed as a series of "stacked vases" supported by an "elegant colonnade of sculptural, curved columns" that "embody and emulate the finest examples of historic architecture" in the area. If approved, the proposal will add a mix of retail, commercial and residential programs to its site at 582-606 Collins Street.
From the architect: 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 per cent 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 break-down of the vertical volume by the design team to establish a coherent relationship between tower, podium and surrounding streetscapes.
In addition to housing a different programmatic element, each ‘vase’ gently tapers inwards to offer additional open space at its base. Within the proposal there is a significant proportion of the ground plane given over to public realm, with external area dedicated to a plaza accessible 24 hours a day.
The design intent is to open up the ground plane improving the flow of pedestrian traffic and enriching connectivity with existing transport infrastructure, which includes the adjacent Southern Cross railway station and existing tram network that runs parallel to the site.
The design also proposes the creation of a new pedestrian route that would connect Collins with Francis Street, further alleviating pressure at the Collins and Spencer Street junction. 350 bicycle parking spaces and bays for electric vehicles and shared car clubs are included within the design.
Within the proposal, junctions between each vase invite the interaction fostered at a street level to continue inside the podium, where a rich mix of retail and commercial offerings as well as easily accessible communal spaces have been included in the proposed structure to promote public engagement.