Days of Future Past: CUB Site Carlton (Continued)

A follow-up to yesterday's article, Urban Melbourne explores the remaining land allotments yet to be developed within the former CUB Carlton site beginning with the tallest:

BUILDING #4 - 170 Victoria Street - Elenberg Fraser for CEL Australia

Once known as the DCM Tower due to the fact it was designed by Denton Corker Marshall the building was originally conceived as a 85,000sqm office tower with scope for apartments/hotel through the upper levels:

Denton Corker Marshall’s design for a signature commercial tower on the Carlton Brewery site, a prime inner-city Melbourne block, has been declared a winner in an architectural ideas competition run by Australian developer Grocon. Building 4 will be the largest building in Grocon’s master plan of the Carlton Brewery site on the corner of Swanston and Victoria Streets. Envisaged as a tall flanking element, it will provide a new long distance marker for Melbourne’s civic spine which stretches from the Shrine of Remembrance through the heart of the city.

The design features a simple language of ‘sticks’ to create a series of closely spaced slender towers that will generate startling views from the surrounding streets and public spaces. By eroding the tops of select sticks, a distinctive crown to the tower will be created providing a highly memorable silhouette to the northern city skyline. The design will undergo further development and will be submitted for planning approval at a later date.

In 2010 Grocon received planning approval for a 90-storey, 281m tower and subsequently put the site on the market. Failing to sell until last year when it was purchased by CEL Australia for $80m, Grocon eventually reaped double what was originally paid for the whole brewery site.

CEL engaged Elenberg Fraser to produce a new scheme - 1041 apartments across 76 storeys reaching a height of 253m.

A comprehensive write up of 170 Victoria Street will appear on Urban Melbourne in coming weeks.

BUILDING #10 - B Apartments - Studio 505

Originally intended to be a 'passive house' apartment complex, the initial 50 apartment, 10 level design by Studio 505 was to be known as Delta and consist of prefabricated CLT (cross-laminated timber). Had it been built it would have been the tallest timber building in the world. The passive concept, is based around a set of standards mostly prevalent in Europe - this involves achieving the best indoor standard of heating and cooling possible, captured in the way a house is designed and manufactured rather than through the use of gas and electricity.

The design has since evolved into B Apartments featuring 218 apartments across 20 storeys. Highlighted in this article, the project has since moved to pre-sale registrations.

BUILDING #1 - McBride Charles Ryan

As the mosaic of images illustrate, McBride Charles Ryan's Building 1 has seen a raft of design iterations over the years. These have ranged from commercial office space to apartments and most recently what looks to be student accommodation.

The colourful bands are reminiscent of MCR's PEG's Senior building glazed and Fitzroy High school. Glazed brick would be a welcome addition at the brewery site amongst a host of glass and steel buildings, and ties in with the immediate area's history - traditionally an area of industry and warehousing.

To date MCR are currently undertaking the design for Building 1, a 16-level student housing project. In this proposal MCR have reworked the planning envelope. By locating an increased height to the south of the site many more apartments are provided with a northern aspect and outdoor living spaces which have a view over Carlton. The form of the building also acts as a scale transition between the diminutive Pixel Building on Queensberry Street and the iconic commercial tower proposed to the south west corner of the site.

Likely the most advanced in terms of design progression out of Buildings 1, 2 & 3, logic suggests it might be the next cab off the development rank.


In addition to master planning duties, NH Architecture was engaged to design Building 2 in the CUB development. This building is central to the north of the site and addresses both Queensberry Street and the internal plaza area to the south. It will form a crucial role tying together diverse neighbours both in its immediate vicinity but also acting as a mediator in height between Carlton and the Melbourne CBD.

Details on Building 2 are few and far between at this stage.

BUILDING #3 - Minifie van Schaik

Another land parcel floating about with no definite plan or timeline, the initial design was awarded to Minifie van Schaik. Here's a word from the architects following their appointment:

Minifie Nixon (now van Schaik have been chosen unanimously by an expert design panel with representatives from RMIT University, the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Grocon to design a 10 level 1,000m2 floor plate building with retail at lower levels and commercial and/or residential above. The competition was endorsed by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.

Located on the corner of Swanston street and Queensberry street, the north eastern portion of Grocon’s exciting new CUB development, this building will provide the important Swanston street address to the northern end of the site, face two internal public spaces and hold congress with the existing Malt Store and the Queensberry Hotel, its immediate neighbours.

The above projects promise much by way of architectural flair, time will tell if reality equates to vision.

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