Three apartment project completions make their mark

It's a very definitive time in the apartment cycle across Melbourne where major planning applications and completions are diametrically opposed.

Major planning applications over the course of 2017 have been rare as hen's teeth, but the number of apartment project reaching completion is spiking as the stock sold over recent years becomes reality. Three such major projects have moved past practical completion and are now accepting residents.

Beyond their intended purpose, these three have also taken their place in Melbourne's design landscape; each has a distinct design identity and are positioned to make the most of imposing views across Melbourne.

Gravity Tower

Fishermans Bend's first high-rise project, and any project of note within the urban renewal area for that matter, is now complete. Gravity Tower consists of 144 apartments for prolific developer Blue Earth. 

Urban Melbourne covered the initial planning application during August 2013, and the tower's move to construction during late 2015, anointing it as the urban renewal area's first project to reach construction.

Gravity Tower's strong vertical there is clear for all to see, given the project has no high-rise competitors in sight. Its northern facade is dominated by offset fins alternating between one and three floors in height, which band together to create a chevron pattern.

Critical to the Plus Architecture-designed tower's expressive facade, the fins also serve a more practical purpose in that they're angled in such a fashion to allow for maximum shading. Little more that finishing touches to Gravity Tower's ground floor will see it fully complete.

Gravity's facade and ground level
  • Location: 89 Gladstone St, South Melbourne
  • Developer: Blue Earth
  • Architect: Plus Architecture
  • Builder: Hamilton Marino
  • Construction value: $35-40 million

Lakeside Apartments

Designed by Fender Katsalidis, the 12 level Lakeside Apartments is defined by a very angular architecture expression. 

Situated opposite Albert Park Lake, the building's design is such that it maximises views of the picturesque vista to its west whilst also providing adequate privacy relative to neighbouring developments. Lakeside Apartments includes 159 dwellings above a three level basement, plus communal facilities such as a library, gymnasium, landscaped areas, pool and lounge.

Pre-fabricated precast sections that double as both horizontal and vertical facade components provide Lakeside Apartments with its raw, angular look. Exposed concrete finishes joined by dark spandrels, clear balustrades and light blue glazing could also see the tower draw parallels to fellow residential tower 83 Queens Road nearby.

Queens Road has a new addition
  • Location: 77 Queens Road, Melbourne
  • Developer: Southlink Developments
  • Design: Fender Katsalidis
  • Builder: Hickory
  • Construction timeframe: 21 months

The Arthur

Another Queens Road addition is slightly unusual in that it has been converted from a former commercial block into a mixed-use tower.

Developer Hallmarc has overseen the creation of 86 apartments and 85 serviced apartments which will be operated under the developer's Tyrian brand. Named after Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathern, the development is of course adjacent to Arthur Street.

Builder Icon Co. was tasked with the transformation of 14 Queens Road which has also seen conference areas, a retail space, open rooftop, gym and various other amenities added.

Stripped back to its concrete shell, The Arthur's exterior now includes precast panels, black glazing and a considerable amount of metallic bronze detailing over its facade. These bronze Alucobond PLUS panels are a stand out across the building.

14 Queens Road's conversion is complete
  • Location: 14 Queens Road, Melbourne
  • Developer: Hallmarc
  • Builder: Icon Co
  • Construction timeframe: 16 months
  • Construction value: $50 million

Expand the images below to see all three projects in further detail.

Gravity Tower

Development & Planning

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 16:00
Located just one kilometere from Brighton’s Bay Street retail strip, MAST is the latest apartment development to take advantage of Brighton's bayside location and cosmopolitan lifestyle, which includes a vibrant and diverse mix of restaurants, cafes, bars, nightlife and shopping.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Friday, February 2, 2018 - 00:00
Gamuda Land is set to unveil an impressive collection of artwork for the soon to be completed 661 Chapel St development in South Yarra. Andy Dinan, Director of Mars Gallery which is renowned for exhibiting and promoting contemporary Australian artists, has been invited to specially curate the art collection throughout the development; included will be some of Australia’s most collected artists.

Visual Melbourne

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 12:00
The various spaces and elements which combine to form RMIT's New Academic Street (NAS) have progressively begun to open to students and visitors alike. I was recently fortunate enough to be part of an informal group tour through the completed spaces within NAS, led by Harrison and White which had a hand in the project.

Transport & Design

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 12:00
Agenda item 6.1 at the upcoming Future Melbourne committee meeting at City of Melbourne includes a meaty document that seeks to reshape the way new CBD and Southbank developments are composed, and similarly how they're presented to all of us on the footpath.

Sustainability & Environment

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 12:00
One of the world’s more unique International design competitions - The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) 2018 - has come to Melbourne. Sponsored by the State Government of Victoria, the competition opened in early January but was officially launched on Saturday, Feb 10 th as part of the Sustainable Living Festival, Melbourne.