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The factory line worker's skillset: long may it live

It's gone. Car manufacture and assembly is dead in Australia. It is now time to break that emotional bond with locally-produced cars and it's time to rapidly retrain and redeploy this vast workforce. The recent announcements from Holden, Ford and now Toyota regarding the winding down of their manufacturing operations in 2016/2017 has naturally caused a lot of angst among the aforementioned company employees as well as the workers of the...

February major construction activity mapped

Tower cranes are always an excellent indicator as to the health of the local construction scene, and by extension the economy at large. Long gone are the gloomy days of the early 1990's when a tower crane was a rarity, replaced today by a brigade of new operators successfully carving out their niche fuelled by Melbourne's seemingly insatiable population growth. Whereas four months ago we provided a static list of tower cranes operational in...

Eq. Tower - three times the power

To say Melbourne's apartment market is an attractive target for Asian based developers and institutional investment vehicles is quite the understatement these days. Seemingly every week there's a new announcement concerning the arrival and/or ambitious expansion of Asian developers seeking their slice of the Melbourne pie. This week is no exception with local developer ICD Property joining forces with two Hong Kong Stock Exhchange-listed...

New Residential Zones - what does this mean for Melbourne

The State Government released new Residential Zones for implementation in July 2013. These zones effectively sought to replace the Residential 1, 2 and 3 Zones with the General Residential (GRZ), Residential Growth (RGZ) and Neighbourhood Residential (NRZ) Zones. A major departure from the existing zone controls is the mandatory nature of many of the requirements, including: In the NRZ restricting development to two dwellings per lot, setting a...
Splash header: BIG, Bates Smart, FKA, Snohetta, SOM, HASSELL, Woods Bagot, SHoP, 447 Collins St

CBUS brings in the BIG guns for 447 Collins Street

UPDATE 13/11/2015: a new amended design has been unveiled, see the plans here . It was recently announced that an application to demolish the 27-storey, former National Mutual Plaza at 433-455 Collins Street (aka 447 Collins St) was on the agenda for the Future Melbourne (Planning) Committee . A decision to issue a permit (subject to certain conditions being met - these can be found in the link provided at the bottom of this article) the likely...
Image © Pandolfini Architects

In a tight spot > 22-24 Wells Place, Southbank

When a planning application seeks to insert an apartment tower on a site with no discernable view lines, it warrants a closer look. At 16 levels, 22-24 Wells Place Southbank is by no means a monstrous tower, but it is interesting nonetheless. With frontage only to Wells Place, itself not much more than a secluded laneway, the development will be hemmed in from all sides. West sees 22-24 Wells Place's views obscured by the recently completed...

Setting a disturbing precedent

Call this an opinion piece, a policy piece, a design piece, and environment piece... it doesn't particularly matter what category it falls under. What does matter is the completely inept finish and total lack of respect shown to the surrounds in the image above. For readers unaware, one of Melbourne's unheralded gems can be found mid block and bound by Elizabeth, La Trobe, Queen and Little Lonsdale. This historic red brick warehouse precinct is...

The inner North: most favoured by Urban Melbourne readers

It appears the 'wrong side of the Yarra, right side of Maribyrnong' encompassing Fitzroy, Carlton, Brunswick, North Melbourne and Northcote has been chosen as the region where most Urban Melbourne readers would like to live or own a property. The centre of the city and inner South round out the most popular regions of Melbourne respectively. That's the conclusion drawn from our ongoing Effective Measure reader surveys that are now in their third...
The New Opera House (Tivoli Theatre) shortly after its opening in 1901. Original raw photograph from The State Library of Victoria, restored by me.

The Titillating Tivoli Theatre

249 Bourke Street. 1901 William Pitt. Before the Tivoli Theatre was built, the site it stood on what was home to a business consisting of a timber yard and stables in the mid 19 th Century. In the 1860's the Australian and New York Letting and Livery Stables replaced the older business and interestingly the business also included a hall on the upper level. During 1866 the hall was known as The Varieties and then later as the Opera Comique; the...

Rebirthed > 499 St. Kilda Road finds new life

St. Kilda Road has gone about transforming itself from a commercial hub into a haven for upmarket apartments for some time now, morphing from a dead after hours office precinct into an affluent residential boulevard. A new proposal for the Fawkner Centre at 499 St. Kilda Road continues this trend, with intentions to convert the dated commercial tower into a rejuvenated 19 level residential complex. Currently the Fawkner Centre stands at 18...

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Development & Planning

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 00:00
During July, Urban Melbourne reported on City of Melbourne's positive response to Salta Properties' bid to have a skyscraper approved at 63 Exhibition Street. Last week a permit for the mixed-use, Bates Smart-designed tower was granted by the Minister for Planning, concluding a lengthy three-year stint at planning for the application.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, September 25, 2017 - 00:00
No doubt about it, the emerging build-to-rent model has the property media in a tizz at the moment. What may in part become a solution to the housing and rental affordability dilemma has garnered immense media attention of late.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

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Transport & Design

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 12:00
Andréanne Doyon , RMIT University ; Joe Hurley , RMIT University ; Susie Moloney , RMIT University , and Trivess Moore , RMIT University Australia’s building and land-use policy settings fall well short of what’s needed to make meaningful progress toward creating sustainable cities. You will find environmental sustainability goals and objectives in government strategy documents.

Sustainability & Environment

Monday, September 4, 2017 - 12:00
The recent BDAV Building Design Awards once more showcased the talents and expertise of Victoria's building designers. 2017 was the 22nd year of the BDAV Design Awards, which aims to "profile excellence in building design, as well as profiling the importance of the building design profession to both the building industry and to the broader community." One project that ticked the boxes was Green Edge.