The Paper Castle

Cast your mind back to 2004 and some may recall the Lombard paper factory in Travancore looking a little worse off after a big night on the gaspers. 

Fast forward to late 2012 and Bensons Property Group successfully delivered ALT, the third and final stage of the Lombard site redevelopment. Designed by Fender Katsilidis and built by Hickory, the complex stands as a monument to urban renewal. At 25 levels and bound by Mt Alexander Rd, Railway, Creek and Citylink/Flemington Bridge station, ALT's exposed position and pronounced form makes for an imposing sight and an interesting backdrop to ‘the cheese stick’ as drivers enter the City of Melbourne.

Of particular interest are three commissioned art pieces throughout the complex, whilst another sits atop the pedestrian entrance facing Mt Alexander Rd. ALT's website blurb reads as follows:

“The company's philosophy that fine art inspires and stimulates our senses as well as reflecting our society. The Alexander Lombard Tower will exhibit specially commissioned art and sculpture that enhances the Travancore experience. Distinctive sculptures 'Roaring Bull' by Anthony Van der Zweep, 'Distilled Space' by Augustine Dall'Ava and ''Le Chevalier aux Miroirs" by Alexander Knox are just three of these commissioned works.”


Whilst not world beaters, these pieces represent a concerted effort by the developer to enhance the social/urban experience and stimulate passers-by; a stance not often taken by developers and not often championed by local councils. A variety of pictures of the completed Lombard development are below.

ALT as seen from Eureka

Development & Planning

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 12:00
Brunswick's Anstey Precinct is in for a massive shot of development as Melbourne's Nightingale Housing plans seven separate buildings in a project that will be dubbed Nightingale Village. Already accustomed to urban renewal, the area surrounding Anstey Station is set to benefit from the unprecedented move by Nightingale Housing to develop what amounts to an entire street.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

Transport & Design

Saturday, December 9, 2017 - 00:00
Spring Street has released details of a large shutdown of the Pakenham/Cranbourne and Frankston lines which will allow workers to complete major upgrades to the rail infrastructure. The work is required to allow for the introduction of the new High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMTs) and will involve upgrading power & catenary, signalling and communications equipment in the Dandenong (Pakenham/Cranbourne) corridor.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.