Artisan reloaded > 166-168 Buckhurst Street, South Melbourne

Following a recent article highlighting Artisan Architects exploits in Fishermans Bend's Lorimer Precinct, they return in todays piece with yet another planning application. 166-168 Buckhurst Street, South Melbourne was lodged with DPCD officials during April and like all other planning applications located in Fishermans Bend, will need to wait until a comprehensive State Government Fishermans Bend structure plan is released prior to any application decision being made...although that doesn't preclude from having a closer look.

Artisan Architects have teamed with leading town planning firm Urbis Pty Ltd to produce this scheme on behalf of Kushinda Pty Ltd, not exactly a well known developer so one makes the assumption they currently hold ownership of the site. Located within Montague Precinct, the application seeks the approval of a 20 level predominantly residential building reaching 64 metres in height. Surrounding applications lodged with DPCD are of a considerably larger nature, yet given 166-168 Buckhurst Street's relatively small plot size, understandably it comes in as the shortest Fishermans Bend planning application do date.

Visually 166-168 Buckhurst Street maintains the trademark Artisan Architects eclectic style, almost an 'order amongst chaos' theme. To that end the finishes schedule is a near malaise of materials, combining to create a unique tower. Facade materials include metal louvres, textured precast concrete, metal cladding in a variety of colours, graphic patterned glass, clear glass balustrades and timber cladding.

The tower itself consists of an articulated five level podium with active street frontage, highlighted by a graphic green glass screen and swimming pool at level five visible from street level. Ground floor includes a 166sqm commercial tenancy with podium floors above also containing commercial space. These tenancies act as a veil for the above ground carparking, stores and services found throughout the podium, which includes 63 car parking spaces, 1 motorbike space and 36 bicycle bays, all accessed via a rear service lane.

The tower itself is set back from the podium and hosts 88 residential apartments over 15 levels. 166-168 Buckhurst Street seeks approval for 49 one bedroom apartments and 39 two bedroom  apartments, over a number of apartment size/layout options. One bedroom options range from 42sqm to 46sqm while two bedroom options start at 51sqm and round out at 62sqm in size while balcony sizes lie between 5sqm and 7sqm. At first glance one could deduce these apartments aren't aimed at the opulent end of the apartment market, rather seemingly designed to fulfill current market trends or expectations. Having said that a single bedroom, 42sqm apartment is certainly an acquired taste for the prospective occupier.

Residential amenities are slated to include a gym, elevated garden and the aforementioned pool facing Buckhurst Street. Potentially of more importance to any future residents would be the prospect of a Green Travel Plan scheme which is no certainty to eventuate, but would be of tremendous value through encouraging residents to cycle or use provided myki cards for travel needs. The planning application also notes the likelihood of a Car Share scheme on the proviso a suitable operator is secured.

ESD aspects included within 166-168 Buckhurst Street's design centers around the minimal use of water. This is achieved through all fittings carrying a minimum 3 star WELS rating over all water outlets, 4 star WELS for toilets and WELS 5 star for kitchen and laundry mixers. These measures are further enforced with the intended collection of roof and podium rainwater for landscape irrigation and toilet use. Solar panels are expected to be installed on the rooftop, principally providing heating for the residents pool. The buildings facade has been designed with one eye toward the future by selecting materials and paint with low VOC/low emissions, thereby reducing future maintenance and increasing building longevity.

As outlined earlier no planning decision for 166-168 Buckhurst Street has been made as yet. More to follow...

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