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447 Collins Street faces demolition

Alastair Taylor's picture

The Age is reporting that 433 Collins Street may get the nod for demolition at an MCC meeting next week

An “unsightly” Melbourne high rise that dropped part of its marble facade onto a city plaza is beyond repair and should be demolished, a Melbourne City Council report has found.
The owners of the former Suncorp office building on Collins Street have applied for a permit to destroy the 27-storey tower, which has sat empty since 2012 when a slab from the building smashed onto the forecourt below.
A council report to be tabled next week has called for the permit to be approved, despite the fact they have previously recommended the site for heritage protection. That advice was rejected by Planning Minister Matthew Guy last year, subject to further review.
The council's planning chairman, councillor Ken Ong, said he believed the local heritage significance of the building was outweighed by its current state.

Laury Laurentian Lasry Laurence "Blockhead" Dragomir has previously done a concept for the site too:


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Peter Maltezos's picture

I know most don't like this building, but for me back in the 1970s, this was a modernist beauty!

Marble cladding with gilded framing and an observation deck, what more could one ask for back then?

It's star has faded over time and now due to negligence and greed possibly, it faces demolition.

The costs to repair it now would probably outweigh any gains, so the private owner has won.

Let's hope something decent rises on this site.


Photo by me from about eight years ago:


What used to be on this site, the Western Market:

I collect, therefore I am.

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Laurence Dragomir's picture

Architects participating in the design comp are as follows:


Hassell + BIG (Denmark)

Fender Katsalidis + Skidmore Owings & Merrill (US)

Woods Bagot + ShoP Architects (US)

Bates Smart + Snøhetta (Norway)


That's some serious competition.


The competition started on the 10th of Feb and will run for approx. 6 weeks + 2 weeks for design review.


CBUS will commence demolition within 2 months of receiving the Demolition Permit.


The works will be staged as follows:

Stage 1

- Duration 10 months.  - Demolition of office building to Collins Street ground level  - Removal of hoarding and re-opening of the site for interim public use. Stage 2.  - Duration 2 months.  - Demolition of the ground and basement levels will proceed at the commencement  of the main development works which is subject to planning consent and  adequate revenue pre-commitments.


Further details here.

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Mark Baljak's picture

mouthwatering list of entrants

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Peter Maltezos's picture

^^ Ditto! smiley

So the way I see it, if you are going to knock something good down, you have to replace it with something better.

I think this will be the case here.

I collect, therefore I am.

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Rohan Storey's picture

I have come to like this one too, very sad to see it go.

I do query the way the age and the council report baldly state it is 'structurally unsound' when thats not the case at all - only the marble was unsound. In fact the major reason ISPT gave for demolition was that even if stripped back to concrete structure (not uncommon), it was not conducive to modern office requirements'' which really just means they can got more space if they start again. Or possibly it will be all / part apartments which can be lower floor heights. There is room at the rear to double the floor space, and the front and sides could be restored, with say etched glass marble-like paneling and the gold strips, less expensive than actual marble. So it could have been 'saved' along with the open space while still increasing the floor area, but the easy option wins out.

I also worry that there is no guarantee about how much open space will remain; Council doesnt own the site any more and there are no planning overlays requiring it. I also worry that ISPT may attempt to ignore the height limit of no-overshadowing-the-river, which would limit the building to not much higher than the current one ! And it will all be up to the Minister ....


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Laurence Dragomir's picture

UN Studio have joined Hassell's design team after Bjarke Ingles Group had to pull out. Winner to be announced any day now.

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Laurence Dragomir's picture

Forgot to post earlier Woods Bagot + SHoP won the design comp.

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danke's picture

I believe the demo contractor has been chosen, any idea what the design looks like?

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Mark Baljak's picture

nah not yet

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