VU Queen St set for expansion

"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

The revised VU Tower


Melburn21's picture

there is something awkward and unrefined about the tower... but overall i like the design. it just needs tweaking.

Back to top
Peter Maltezos's picture

Wow, one of the best designs I have seen to date from Daryl Jackson/Jackson Architecture, whose name is usually synonomous with postmodern architecture.

This cutting-edge modern designed highrise campus will set a new standard for universities around Melbourne.

This development just has to be approved!

I collect, therefore I am.

Back to top
Edward Skira's picture

Looks good.

Toronto Construction and Development

Back to top
Alastair Taylor's picture

We've also started a forum thread for this tower as well.

Back to top
Bronteboy's picture

Whoa. Love it. Somehow looks quite friendly.

onwards and upwards

Back to top

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

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 11:00
Infrastructure Victoria unveiled a new round of research into its larger programme of work dealing with managing transport demand. The authority contracted Arup and KPMG to produce the Melbourne Activity Based Model (MABM) and while it is new, it is considered fit for purpose in the strategic context.

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.