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ZHA wins approval for £194m Melbourne tower

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Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has won planning approval for a £194 million, 20-storey residential building in Melbourne, adding to its growing portfolio of schemes in Australia

The project in St Kilda Road, a major route through the central business district of the city, will provide 158 one to five-bed flats, ranging in size from 70m² to 556m².

It was designed in collaboration with local architect Elenberg Fraser and also includes roof terraces, swimming pools, cafés and restaurants.

The project adds to ZHA’s increasing number of schemes in the country. In June last year, the practice got the go-ahead for a tower in Melbourne, a 54-storey mixed-use block described as a ’series of stacked vases’.

Across the country, a three-skyscraper development in Brisbane designed by the practice successfully overcame a court challenge earlier this year.

Architect’s view

The fluid forms of the façade define large balconies for each apartment and spectacular views of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Port Phillip Bay, Albert Park and skyline of the Central Business District. The design translates the many attributes of the city to create apartments that blur the boundaries between building and city, exterior and interior.

Taking its cues from the fluidity within Australia’s landscapes and seascapes, the façade’s composition has evolved from a system of simple wave formations that is further developed to generate variables of the same design language. Using algorithms to determine these variables enables the façade to adapt to the wide variety of different apartment layouts and also adapt to the irregular site.

Building on ZHA’s expertise in delivering complex architectural geometries, computational parametric design allowed an optimizing algorithm to identify shape similarities within the façade to a tolerable degree, minimizing the number of different façade panels required. This process enabled the creation of the building’s sculpted façade that would have otherwise been cost prohibitive.

The fluidity of the building’s exterior is carried through into the interiors. Living areas within the apartments have been arranged as a sequence of spatial experiences that maximize the iconic views across the city, with bespoke interior features that echo the sculptural qualities of the façade.

Project data

Architect Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
Local architect Elenberg Fraser
Structural and civil engineer Webber Design
Building services engineer Murchie Consulting
Town planner SJB
Quantity surveyor WT Partnership
Façade consultant BG and E
Wind engineering MEL Consultants
Traffic engineer Traffix
Building surveyor PLP Building Surveyors and Consultants
Fire engineer Umow Lai
Engineering Services Inhabit Group
Geotech Golders
Waste management Leigh Design
Acoustic Vipac
Land surveyor Bosco Jonson
Visualisations VA

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