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

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 12:00
When a site spans 19,280 square metres, it becomes a 'district'. That's the case according to the development team behind the Jam Factory's pending overhaul. Reporting on the project to date has focused on the close to 60,000 square metres of new commercial space that is earmarked for the site, but more importantly from a layperson's perspective is the extensive new public realm that is planned as part of the development.

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.