SMA Projects reveals Australia's first above rail line residential building

Developer SMA Projects is garnering public opinion prior to submitting plans with Stonnington City Council for a residential building that would be the nation's first set above rail lines. Addressed at 24-26 Chapel Street has been launched in order to raise awareness of the project that challenges the norm.

24 Chapel Street thinks differently about building now for Melbourne’s future. From the inception of transforming air over a rail precinct into remarkable living spaces and through each stage of engineering and architectural reinvention the unparalleled innovation of this project commands new expectations.

SMA Projects

Along with SMA Projects, VicTrack, JCB Architects, SJB Planning, and Aspect Studios all have a hand in the Australian-first design.

Positioned as more than a simple apartment development, the team behind 24 Chapel Street see the project as a pioneering concept and a future design benchmark.  At the southern end of Chapel Street, the proposal incorporates various sustainable design features such as vertical landscaping and solar capture technology that has the project seeking a ‘net-zero’ apartment electricity benefit.

24-26 Chapel Street perspectives

Melbourne’s population has increased by more than 1.2 million people since 2001, if we are going to maintain the City’s renowned liveability, halt urban sprawl, and locate residents next to the services demanded in a 21st century city, we need to begin looking at under-utilised assets such as the air space above rail lines to address these needs.

To meet the complex demands of developing a building over an active rail corridor the proposed development considers all aspects of challenging engineering, completely accounted for to deliver an architecturally excellent building with exemplary public transport connectivity, street activation, and the incorporation multiple uses all while celebrating its unique place.

This project provides an example of building for the future – delivering best practice standards in all aspects of the project. We’ve launched to highlight each of the proposal’s attributes and provide the public with an opportunity to give feedback. We look forward to receiving any responses the community has about the development.

Robert Murphy: Development Manager, SMA Projects
Ground level activation

15 of the tower's 20 levels are dedicated to residential living, encompassing 45 apartments in the slim-form building complete with exoskeleton.

With 24 Chapel Street's site located above rail lines, it means the project faces a range of engineering challenges.

As an Australian first, the development team believes that have met these challenges and see 24 Chapel Street as a stepping stone to future projects that will "unlock the potential for other underutilised airspace sites to be transformed into leading-edge, mixed-use buildings, paving the way for the State to unlock value for Victorian’s in progressive and connected neighbourhoods."

Identified project highlights include:

  • Celebrates and improves the site while meeting the technical and engineering challenges of the unique location.
  • Employs highly decorated structural, civil and electrical engineers to ensure innovative solutions can be achieved while meeting all requirements.
  • Engages with highly skilled robotic engineers to design a car parking solution with the ability to be located above an active rail line.
  • Identifies as a southern gateway to Chapel Street and the City of Stonnington.
  • Provides benefits in several forms for the city and state.
  • Initiates progression in the Windsor activity precinct creating a landmark building that maintains sight to the rail corridor from street level.
  • Ensures meeting and in some areas exceeding the intent and objectives of state and local planning policies.
  • Provides a new benchmark of sustainable design in Melbourne.
  • Integrates a tall building on a small site providing sympathy to overlays in the vicinity and fine grain nature of the area it surrounds while providing equitable opportunity to its adjoining 'Key Development Sites'.
  • Provides internal adaptability to be celebrated by future generations

The wider public now has the opportunity to pass comment on the proposal here.

Expected views from the development

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Policy, Culture & Opinion

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Transport & Design

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Sustainability & Environment

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