Spotlight on the database: Stratus

When people say "Lygon Street", many will automatically think of Melbourne's Little Italy, just beyond the CBD and Trades Hall in Carlton.  Indeed many residents of our city don't really associate Lygon Street with Brunswick, let alone are aware of the change that it is rapidly coming to the fore on this inner north urban thoroughfare.

Lygon Street East Brunswick is also rapidly gaining a reputation for being one of Melbourne's craft beer hubs. Temple and Thunder Road breweries are now located and producing either side of the street; The Alehouse Project, Atticus Finch, Eydies, Mr Wilkinson and many other bars in the area place a strong emphasis on sourcing their beer from micro breweries, be they Victorian or interstate.

The same stretch of street is starting to feel like it is urbanising faster than you can order 2 pints of Holgate Temptress @ The Alehouse.   From Brunswick Road in the south to Albion Street in the North, Lygon St East Brunswick is fast becoming the poster-child of appropriate retrofitting of existing urban areas to increase urban density with a genuine focus on Public and non-motorised Transport. 

The Stratus project, located at 360 Lygon Street in Brunswick East, is a perfect example of how the principles in the Transforming Australian Cities strategy are more or less being implemented outside the City of Melbourne LGA.

The new development is currently under construction, designed by MAP Architecture, developed by Blue Earth Group with interiors by Eades & Bergman

Ticking the Transforming Australian Cities strategy boxes:

  • The building is 7 floors high and therefore is roughly the same height as Lygon Street is wide.  
  • The building is higher at the street boundary and is set back further from the street, minimising impact on the residential areas beyond the main thoroughfare
  • Strong active frontages on Lygon Street.
  • Vehicular access is from the rear of the building.

Kudos to MAP for also integrating a stand-out green to both the awning (where many existing buildings generally have ordinary awnings, Stratus does not!) above the Lygon Street footpath and the picture frame-like crown facing Lygon Street.  

Editorial deadline constraints prevented me from contacting Blue Earth for comment in time (I'll try for a follow up in the next week or two), however UrbanMelbourne will endeavour to frequently highlight how the urban small is just as important, if not just as exciting, as the urban tall.  

Based on the sheer volume of projects currently either gearing up or in full swing all around metropolitan Melbourne, which you can all witness for yourselves in our Project Map, it is pleasing to see the principles of the Transforming Australian Cities strategy are being implemented by the organisations which are key to building Melbourne's urban future. 


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.