Urban Melbourne aren't averse to providing a shout out to firms who design intriguing residential buildings, albeit conceptual ones. Recently a design by South Melbourne firm Burton & Carter crossed our desks and we were mighty impressed.
The architect's summary of the gateway project designed for Port Melbourne is as follows:
The Eminence is a proposed 35 storey residential tower in the bay side area of Port Melbourne.
The parametric design of the podium incorporated retail, restaurant and cafe spaces to generate a lively community space for residents and public that would make use of the interesting design that allowed for natural light and bay side views through the triangulated windows, yet stopped unwanted cold strong south-west winds. The opening up of the facade allows for a triple storey interior main lobby that marks the entrance at ground level.
The residential tower connects with the podium with a sleek extrusion to the north-west facade, allowing maximum balcony space to the south to maximise views of the bay side for the residents, but also allowing city views to the north-east. The smooth finish to the tower’s form creates a crown on top of the building that follows the curvilinear form of the podium to generate an aesthetic connection between the two.Burton and Carter: The Eminence Apartments
Visually, design parallels can be drawn between Burton & Carter's scheme and Snøhetta's Ras Al Khaimah gateway project in the emerging UAE emirate, albeit on a smaller scale.
Both designs are mixed-use in nature and carry substantial areas of associated communal space and landscaping. Externally the buildings are quite similar in styling, while also providing a variety of sheltered and shaded spaces for public use. The undulating form of either design peaks with a landmark 'gateway' tower signifying the structures isolated dominance.
Both gateway projects are also situated at the entrance to their respective city, the difference being Ras Al Khaimah's fronts the desert whereas Port Melbourne's would be a marker for arriving ships.
Resident render guru Laurence provided us with this Port Melbourne concept design last year (as seen above), further investigating the notion of a gateway structure marking ones aquatic arrival into Melbourne. I'd take any which one in Melbourne yet Button and Carter's is a crisp, contemporary design that unfortunately will never seemingly see the light of day.