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CBD | 303 La Trobe Street | 43L | ~150m | Residential

Mark Baljak's picture
#1

66Lofficially, plus 2 roof levels

One of the best designs for some time

site

interesting heights for a couple of neighbours

take that PT

OLS

ground

materials

perspectives

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stefano's picture

very nice tower. I love the gold podium hall

stefano verdi

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Adrian's picture

Wow stunning !!! Would be more than happy for that to block what remains of the view from my balcony.

With no shadowing concerns and what would seem a reasonable height ratio for the lot site - let's hope the apartment sizes
are also decent enough not to give Wynne any reason to object this.

Superb podium opening up the street corners and love how that shape is reflected at the top ..

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Peter Maltezos's picture

^^ Love it!heartyessmileyyes

I collect, therefore I am.
thecollectormm.com.au

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Qantas743's picture

Very nice.

Shame they're only going as high as the OLS though. Why are some developers breaching the OLS and others choosing not to?

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Melbourne_Fragments's picture

Going to have to be the rain on parade one, as I thought the idea of demolishing historic street walls/buildings to create windy plaza/car park entries was a thing of the past..

And bits of metal with holes in them just don't have any wow factor in reality, just looks like a generic cladding you'd see in a southbank podium or brady tower

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Adam Ford's picture

With Melbourne Fragments here.

So nobody gives a stuff about demolition of the Duke of Kent or the impact on Guildford Lane precinct? For what looks to me like just another tower. The Duke is a c graded heritage structure, please someone explain why it needs knocking over for this?

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Chris Seals's picture

Well Adam, you seem to have all the answers, why don't you inform us on the reason ?

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

The building will be demolished because the city of Melbourne has not been doing it's job and have spent way too much time fighting for mandatory height controls and writing studies about apartment sizes rather than updating their heritage controls.

The City of Melbourne knew that the Guildford Lane precinct including the Duke of Kent Hotel needed heritage controls more than 20 years ago has known for the last five years that these controls are urgently needed but have done nothing to introduce those controls.

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Dean's picture

It's this type of hypocrisy that pisses me off the most. The CoM will surely complain in ever media outlet they can find about this buildings height and lament that it'll destroy the very fabric of our great city because of the intention to demolish a heritage building but they'll do little, if anything, to protect that very heritage.

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Adrian's picture

^^^^^^ HEAR HEAR Nick & Dean

Could not possibly have said it any better.

Whilst I don't disagree the loss of the Duke of Kent building will be a loss - I think the open aspect of that podium would actually draw more people into the laneway's behind - hoping that there is some retail and not just private lobby behind those beautiful arches.

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Bilby's picture

The laneways "behind" are not unrelated to what sits "in front", however. In other words, remove the heritage street wall from La Trobe street and you remove the heritage street wall from the laneway too - typically the red brick "backs" of historic buildings facing the main street. How does removing the Duke of Kent enhance the lane way environment? That's a ridiculous assertion. Have a look at the "rear" of the new developments that have already gone up on La Trobe here - now just plain grey concrete walls to the laneway frontage.

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Melbourne_Fragments's picture

As has been said before, the plaza style setback here is the antithesis about what is so great about Guildford lane, a tightly packed maze of heritage brick buildings with defined edges,which was until recently encased in brick rears. opening it up with all the space, not to mention destroying an historic edge to it with metal and glass, won't be good in that respect

As for it drawing people into the precinct behind, remains to be seen, but so far developments on La Trobe have forced the closure of the great outdoor area of Badger and Hawk cafe, and forced the closure of at least one art gallery after all it's natural light was taken away by another tower going up, development pressures hemming in the laneway precinct could have un-intended consequences to what was starting to be quite a cultural precinct.

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Melbourne_Fragments's picture

Dean of course also has a point, the CoM might oppose this one based on height and density, but have done very little in 20-30 years to protect heritage like this pre-emptivly

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Adrian's picture

The laneways "behind" are not unrelated to what sits "in front", however. In other words, remove the heritage street wall from La Trobe street and you remove the heritage street wall from the laneway too - typically the red brick "backs" of historic buildings facing the main street. How does removing the Duke of Kent enhance the lane way environment? That's a ridiculous assertion. Have a look at the "rear" of the new developments that have already gone up on La Trobe here - now just plain grey concrete walls to the laneway frontage.

Arggghhhh I knew you would mis-interpret what I was trying to say, to which I also blame myself for not making myself clear enough.

I am as furious as you as to what The Carlson, and it's new and much older neighbours were allowed to do to Flangian Lane in creating blank concrete walls and losing the character of the brick rear of the buildings demolished. I look at them directly from my balcony every night so I am *fully* aware of what's going on at the rear of those developments. I'm more angry about the blank concrete walls than I am about them blocking all of my north facing sunlight & view.

I also 100% agree it would be a shame to lose more of said brick wall in that laneway if Duke of Kent was to be demolished - thanks to the uselessness of the CoM.

My point was that if it's going to be demolished because of the lack of foresight of the COM, then I at least like the look of this podium being somewhat open, modern, different and drawing attention into the laneway behind which at the moment is rather desolate instead of having another blank concrete wall fill that space, or the rather decrepit rear of the Duke of Kent which is currently just as equally uninviting and was never going to change if left alone.

Having just one corner site being somewhat open isn't going to destroy the fabric of the closed in feel of the laneways behind it - those other buildings up the lane have done a much better job of that. Instead the people it could draw in and create life in those laneways would outweigh what is lost - just like Melbourne Star/Sky have drawn so many people into Sutherland Lane for the first time with the retail down there like Short Stop & the Nitrogen Ice Cream shops, which more than compensates for the concrete service plant walls on the opposite side (which only filled in an empty car park anyway).

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

The Guildford Lane precinct has a 15 metre recommended height control but no heritage controls.

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Bilby's picture

Yes, Adrian, but MelbourneFragments has a point - there was already a burgeoning street level "scene" in the Flanigan Lane / Guildford Lane precinct that has been substantially impacted by development - not improved. Development of towers here can only damage the precinct, not enhance what is essential about it - the brick frontages and gritty lane way feel. We don't need towers in every corner of the CBD for it to be "vibrant" - in fact, the opposite is true, there are specific areas where towers do more harm than good - like Guildford Lane and Flanigan Lane. I also disagree that the street level shops provided by the Sutherland Lane developments in any way "compensate" for the losses - the streetscape is now damaged irreversibly and can now never be what it might have been with the heritage buildings retained. I also disagree about the existing back of the Duke of Kent - it is more interesting than that. The timber fire stairs, the exposed pipe work and gritty back wall are classic Melbourne lane way. The back wall is also brick - the render could easily be removed and the frontage opened up for something rather interesting. What will this frontage offer with a tower on the site ...?

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Adrian's picture

I also disagree that the street level shops provided by the Sutherland Lane developments in any way "compensate" for the losses - the streetscape is now damaged irreversibly and can now never be what it might have been with the heritage buildings retained.

Dude you just proved your ignorance here - Melbourne Star & Sky were empty *CARPARKS* and have been ever since I moved into the street in 2002. So yes they have absolutely improved Sutherland immeasurably to what it was before. As a local resident I can attest to that.

That said I don't disagree with the rest of what you said.

The Guildford Lane precinct has a 15 metre recommended height control but no heritage controls.

Utterly ridiculous - I presume this is only for the streets inside and not the LaTrobe St frontage where Carlson & it's siblings have done all the damage to Flanigan Lane ?

I suppose I should re-state my stance for the record - I love this tower and it's podium/entrance but I agree it's not appropriate here. But the damage and precedent has been set by the buildings approved a few doors up so if the CoM and/or planning minister are too useless to do anything about the heritage aspect of the precinct - then at least put an interesting tower there like this and not another hideous prefab box such as the Carlson is.

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Bilby's picture

Thanks for the clarification, Adrian - that makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that we have to lose the Duke of Kent - we don't. If anyone feels it is worth having precincts like this in Melbourne, then it's also worth writing to the minister to oppose this tower (if not because of its design, then because of it's failure to respond to the unique heritage on site and the adjacent Guildford Lane precinct).

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Rohan Storey's picture

This is very strange design - that open space is partly carpark access, running parallel to the laneway behind, when they could just use that ! and the middle leg houses some cafe benches and the actual leg, with left-over space around it thats in part a loading bay (! in front of the feature !), and there's no shops, just the one one cafe, so not much street activation. And the lifts are all over the place. So I dont see the advantage of having that scooped out area at all, and agree that I would rather have a narrow melbourne laneway experience (especially as its a north-south one) than open part of of it out. And theres no real podium/ setback, but then most of the rest of the street doesnt have that wither, so guess thats OK. Pity that theres now going to be a complete wall of buildings totally plunging Guildford Lane into gloom, but as Adrian said, that should have been protected 20 years ago, too late now.

Lookingupatbuildings

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johnproctor's picture

I walked up and down and all around Guidlford Lane area recently. pretty disgraceful whats been allowed to happen there along La Trobe Street including potentially this development and the greek church on the opposite side of Sutherland lane at La Trobe.

I definitely 100% blame Council for this. This is right up there as the most precious and intact heritage precincts in the CBD and they've done nothing to protect it. They are so focussed on urban design and structure plans and stuff that they forgot abotu Heritage for the best part of 30 years and then in their most recent update of the planning scheme heritage controls they still missed this area.

cracking little area that hopefully doesn't get eroded much more.

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Bilby's picture

What the Palace Theatre debacle has shown, however, is that with enough interest and objection from the community, council will act. If heritage was promoted as part of good design in cities more, then there would be a better understanding in the community about its value, which would in turn increase public pressure on councils to enact planning rules to safeguard important areas like Guildford Lane.

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3000's picture

Does Wynne have particular allegiance when it comes to ripping up heritage lanes/buildings? So far he mostly seems to slam overshadowing.
When I was in Japan I noticed that even on the most lifeless of lanes and streets they could still manage to create something interesting. It seems like putting a cafe in a podium is our cure-all for an otherwise shitty podium and service grill.

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Bilby's picture

Yes, and in any case, isn't there something in the local planning scheme that mandates a street wall with zero setbacks in cases like this?

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

The planning application for this one has lapsed.

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Qantas743's picture

So off to VCAT?

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