Located on the Western boundary of Melbourne’s Central Business District, at the nexus between Collins Street and the Docklands, 600 Collins Street is within an area of the city that is evolving into a new precinct in its own right. Melbourne’s renowned cultural attractions, festivals and community events contribute to the city’s listing as ‘the most liveable city in the world’.
With 420 apartments, offices, retail and public spaces, the 54-storey (178m) design has evolved from the city’s distinct urban fabric. A colonnade of sculptural curved columns on the Collins Street façade embodies the traditions inherent within the finest examples of historic architecture in Melbourne’s CBD.
“The design has been defined by Melbourne’s rich and diverse urban landscape, reinterpreted in a contemporary solution driven by the logical division of its overall volume that will enhance the city’s public realm with generous communal spaces,” said Zaha Hadid Architects’ Michele Pasca di Magliano. “We are honoured to be working with our partners in Melbourne to deliver this project for the city.”
The arrangement of the 70,000 square metre tower takes inspiration from its mixed-use program, converting the building’s overall volume into a series of smaller stacked vases. In addition to housing a different programmatic element, each vase gently tapers inwards to create new civic spaces for the city including a public plaza, terraces and new link for pedestrians to access Southern Cross railway station and the tram network.
Vanessa Bird, Victorian president of the Australian Institute of Architects, said to The Age newspaper that the tower was expected to become a new visitor drawcard for Melbourne. “The drawing power and attraction of good design has a huge value to the economy,” she explained.
Designed to use 50 per cent less energy than a conventional mixed-use tower, this façade contributes to a reduction in the direct solar gain of the building and emissions. A high performance glazing system, high efficiency central cooling, high efficiency lighting and grey-water reuse systems will reduce consumption of resources and further lower the emissions. 350 bicycle parking spaces and bays for electric vehicles and shared car clubs are included within the design.
The project’s approval is supported by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, City of Melbourne and Office of Victorian Government Architect.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne said, “it’s pleasing to see a project of this quality proposed for Melbourne and see a strong architectural response within the framework of the interim controls.”
Acting Minister for Planning Jill Hennessy said in a statement, “this stand-out design will enhance the city’s skyline.”
“This is an inspired project that will enrich the city, creating a new public plaza and amenities as well as improve connectivity for all pedestrians,” said a spokeswoman for Landream, the project’s developers. “We are proud to be delivering Zaha Hadid’s design for Melbourne and will continue to work closely with her team to make it a reality.”