Lorimer Precinct; Artisan Architects lead the way

Much has been said and written about the intended urban renewal of the Fishermans Bend area. To date the State Government has yet to release a coherent structure plan and consequently refused to approve any applications until said structure plan is realised, while all the time planning applications for the area have landed at the Department of Planning & Community Development's (DPCD) offices with regular monotony. Of these applications, all have fallen within the high-density Montague Precinct.

That is, until now with Montague's dominance broken in part by Artisan Architects. Lorimer Precinct is northern-most precinct of Fishermans Bend that sits in behind the Mirvac controlled Yarra's Edge Precinct within Docklands. Acting as the transitional area between Docklands and Fishermans Bend, Lorimer has received two new planning applications that carry Artisan Architects unmistakable design fingerprints all over.

Submitted to DPCD a few short days ago by Ratio Consultants Pty Ltd, the proposed development (below) has been devised on behalf of Belsize Nominees Pty Ltd & Cojas Holdings Pty Ltd. Located at 150 Turner Street, Port Melbourne the site is in immediate proximity to the CityLink Lorimer Street offramp. Consequently a six level podium has been incorporated, equaling the CityLink offramp in terms of height. 252 car spaces, bicycle bays and associated services are located through the podium, as is one retail space and limited office accommodation.

The scheme call for 24 levels of apartments to follow. Sitting along a north-south axis, the residential levels are planned to contain 361 apartments, with expansive eastern views toward Melbourne's ever-changing skyline. 150 Turner Street would hold 35,150sqm of gross floor area while net sellable area of 21,490sqm is envisaged. Currently a open air carpark, Artisan Architects were confronted by a difficult site with aerial impediments. To counter this, Artisan have employed heavily repetitive design patterns over East, West and podium aspects to maintain visual interest whilst also breaking the sheer bulk of the proposed tower.

In close proximity, 351 Ingles Street Port Melbourne (below) will be lodged with DPCD in coming weeks. When lodged, it will become the largest proposed redevelopment handled by State planners since the rezoning of Fishermans Bend, and one of the largest devised for any area of Melbourne. Built and owned by Salta Properties until early 2012, the Citiport Business Park currently holds sway over the site. Early last year GPT purchased the site for $61 million and currently have the premises listed on their website at near full occupancy, with average leases expiring in 2.3 years.

Located directly behind the townhouse component of Yarra's Edge, Artisan Architects have devised a five tower scheme that would capitalise on extensive views still available, owing to the established lowrise area opposite coupled with the Yarra nearby. Of the five towers, the tallest would rise 45 levels and approximately 140m which would be of a similar height to the existing/approved towers at Yarra's Edge located slightly to the east. The headline statistics for 351 Ingles Street read as follows:

  • 5 towers, over two separate podiums
  • 1915 apartments
  • 1509 car spaces
  • Gross Floor Area - 184,500sqm
  • Net Sellable Area - 90,900sqm
  • Office space - 14,038sqm
  • Retail space - 2,557sqm
  • Public plaza and arcade - 1,804sqm

Given the immense size of the proposal it surely won't be too long before mainstream media report on this application.

It's encouraging that applications such as the duo above are starting to flow through the Lorimer Precinct, hopefully acting as the metaphorical bridge over the divide between Docklands and what will be the heart of Fishermans Bend via the Montague and Sandridge Precincts.

Having said that, these applications do raise a number of wider questions. What of the potential acoustic and liveability issues of apartments spaces metres away from a number of Melbourne's ever-busy arterials? Will the current Route 238 bus that runs along Lorimer Street sufficiently cope with the expected population explosion and what improvements in public transport are planned for Lorimer Precinct? Are these merely applications that are designed to increase land value, prior to the site being onsold? Can an area hemmed in by the Westgate Freeway truly be a successful and enjoyable urban environment, given similar areas of Southbank struggle in such regards? can't answer these questions, here's hoping those responsible for Fishermans Bend can. Regardless Artisan Artchitects have produced two unique proposals that would surely make for interesting markers within the Lorimer Precinct.

Images © Artisan Architects

See the image catalogue for both projects in their respective forum threads

150 Turner Street

351 Ingles Street

1 comment

Rohan Storey's picture

Yes all relevant questions that should be answered. Lots of proposals in a planning vacuum may well lead to trouble down the track.

At least this site faces north; but I see that current Yarra's edge residents think that Lorimer Street is getting too busy, with lots of trucks. So maybe that north facing courtyard wouldnt be pleasant place to linger.

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