"This is an opportunity for Victoria University to consolidate and express its dedicated and symbolic presence within the historic surrounding of the former Royal Mint precinct and the greater context of the Melbourne central city." With those words, Daryl Jackson and his firm Jackson Architecture have teamed with Victoria University in order to bring a consolidated VU campus to the Hoddle Grid. Jackson Architecture is currently carrying masterplan images of an expanded Victoria University campus on Queen St, straddling either side of Little Lonsdale. The images below show a refurbished lowrise campus facility sitting in behind the historic former Records Office and Land Titles Office. Whilst no planning application has yet been submitted for the potential lowrise development, an initial application for the highrise or 'vertical campus' was submitted during March 2012.
Further, at the behest of planning officials from the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) and coupled with heritage issues relating to the existing 1908 Women's VD Clinic building, a revised planning document was submitted for VU Tower, addressed 364-370 & 372-378 Little Lonsdale St. The early 2012 design has been superseeded by an edgier, more aesthetically pleasing tower that retains the historic Women's VD Clinic facade, whilst still calling for demolition of the adjoining TB Clinic.
Visual differentiations to the early 2012 submission include rooftop solar panels, a new and repositioned Sampson Lane (the current Lane making way for underground carpark works), a folded concrete feature running the length of the south-east facade, angled vents at both plant levels 17 and crown (somewhat similar in looks to the new NAB building at 700 Bourke St), a doubled-skinned facade plus a remodelled north east aspect that interacts with the nearby Repiblic Tower. Directly to the tower's west lies La Banque apartments, in addressing its westerly neighbour the architect has introduced a podium at equal height to La Banque's and a podium setback for the tower itself. Further, precast panels and opaque west facing windows are incorporated while a minimum 9m separation distance is maintained where required.
With the new application submitted 21st December 2012, the redesigned tower if approved would stand at 135m above four levels of sub ground parking. At ground would consist of a revamped Sampson Lane, security & reception areas, loading docks, carpark entry and foyer. Level 1 hosts a mezzanine cafe, levels 2 & 3 a library, level 4 a lecture theatre while levels 5 & 6 host plant room and podium facilities. Thereafter levels 7-16 are dedicated academic space, 17 a further plant level while levels 18-30 consist of approximately 11,350sqm of office space. Gross floor area for the tower would be 42679sqm whilst net floor area or usable space would touch on 27075sqm.
Jackson Architect's website indicates that once a planning permit has been granted, VUT will actively seek a partner to bring this tower to fruition rather than fund the tower individually. Tower development costs at this time are expected to be roughly $85 million and take 3-4 years to complete once a permit has been issued, potentially making it and the mooted lowrise expansion ready for use jointly. Enjoy the exceptional images below provived by Jackson Architecture by way of their planning application.
All images © Jackson Architecture