It looks to be one of those instances where a single image says it all.
In this case the lead image above illustrates the rapid change engulfing the northern stretch of Melbourne's CBD. During a recent visit to Hickory Group's topping out ceremony for La Trobe Tower, the scale of this change became patently evident.
Given abundant coverage to date on Urban Melbourne, towering individual planning applications and rendered city models fail to adequately convey the emergence of a new crop of tall Melbourne towers. The above image for instance would be greatly augmented should the 210 metre 111 A'Beckett Street rise in the foreground; essentially block out three of the new crop of towers which all weigh in above the 200 metre mark: Vision, Victoria One and Light House.
Assuming that we're currently at a nominal half-way point in the construction of this rash of new residential towers across the north of Melbourne's CBD, what observations can be made at this time?
On a more intimate level, the street character of Elizabeth Street in particular has been drastically altered.
Minimal setbacks have given the eastern site of Elizabeth an imposing presence from street level; some will argue it as a welcomed change representing Melbourne's progression, while others will note that Elizabeth Street is becoming a cold and uninviting public place. Much will depend upon how readily these new towers interact with the streetscape upon their respective completions.
A previously rundown streetscape or an uninviting wall of towers, for those who value urban design it could be argued neither is a particularly palatable outcome.
On a larger scale though, these new towers have definitely brought a fresh design dynamic to Melbourne's skyline, with Elenberg Fraser the primary firm responsible.
The architecture practice can lay claim to seven current towers in the northern stretch of Melbourne's CBD; five are at construction with the shortest being the 172 metre Avant. Colour and form are coming to the fore, with Light House above a prime example of Elenberg Fraser's progressive design dynamic.
Perhaps though the most stylish tower on the rise anywhere in Melbourne is EQ Tower. It's pinkish-purple facade and inverse flowing lines are particularly attractive and it has rapidly emerged as a beacon of design prowess, owing to its many unique characteristics.
With many towers under construction now taking on their own unique characteristics, here is an overview of the current status of all major towers within Melbourne's northern CBD zone: