With MY80 currently steaming ahead through construction, Malaysian-based property developer Mammoth Empire Holdings has wasted no time in capitalising on the success of their first foray into the Melbourne property market. Following their purchase of an adjoining site late last year, a planning application was recently submitted for a new residential tower at 398 Elizabeth Street, adding to a burgeoning list of residential developments over the northern stretch of Melbourne's CBD.
Located directly opposite MY80, early reports noted Mammoth Empire's director Sean Ng as stating the idea of a sister tower on the site was appealing, a notion that has been borne out through the planning application which sees a tower that while seemingly different, hold many complementary features to MY80.
398 Elizabeth Street's site below is seen within the anticipated urban context, although the rate of change through the area can render any image essentially obsolete within a short period of time. It was revealed last week for instance that ICD Property have submitted plans for a 196m residential tower at 127-141 A'Beckett Street; this tower along with a number of others do not appear in the graphic below.
At 55 levels and reaching a height of 177m, 398 Elizabeth Street is slightly taller than its counterpart, incorporating 465 apartments and 418sqm of commercial space. 1004sqm of retail space will also be available within the building, monopolising the first two levels of the complex. Car parking is quite limited, totalling only 96 spaces through podium levels 2-8, while 194 bicycle spaces catered for.
As per MY80, architecture practice Hayball have once again offered their design expertise on the project, creating a visually stimulating tower which plays on the horizontal design features of MY80 by incorporating a contrasting vertical facade. Large vertical fins will adorn the building and much like the changing form of MY80, Hayball have designed 398 Elizabeth Street in a way which follows three separate elements, those being the ‘base’, ‘middle’ and ‘upper’ sections of the tower.
The ‘base’ includes two levels of retail incorporated within the nine level podium while the ‘middle’ includes mid-rise apartments spanning levels 10-24 while ‘upper’ levels involve apartments from level 26 to 55. Over these three elements, a transition in building form takes place with the most noticeable change at level nine, where the building shifts steps in to create a 5 metre setback while simultaneously protruding over a new laneway which will be located at the east of the site, creating a cantilevered effect.
The buildings facade will include flush vision glazing, solid panels and a rhythm of pre-cast fins which are designed to provide shading, while allowing for solar benefit during the winter months. At the north-west corner of the building, the fins are broken up in a bid to reduce the mass of the building, as well as helping to provide additional visual interest where the fins peel back to reveal more of the building behind. Much likeMY80, pre-cast concrete and dark glass is externally dominant, with extensive glazing given to the lower retail floors with frameless doors apparent.
While Mammoth Empire aim to bring an international style of retail to Melbourne via the dual retail levels facing Elizabeth Street, another interesting feature of the building are six distinct office pods which vary in size from 36sqm to 114sqm. Located around the perimeter of levels 3-7, the pods help to activate the towers lower levels by hiding the car parking areas behind while also providing space for start-up businesses or design studios.
A major feature for future residents will be an amenities area accessible on level 25 and comprising two function rooms, a gymnasium, pool, change/bath rooms as well as outdoor terraces which will face both east and west. As mentioned above, a new laneway will also be developed within the project, which will be used to provide access to the already established Literature Lane from A’Beckett Street.
The new lane is said to provide a dramatic experience for those passing through, with the building cantilevered over the street creating an interesting spectacle in conjunction with vertical and horizontal landscaping which will contribute to the experience. The area will be further enhanced by activation from the first level retail store which will help provide passive surveillance over the area. In addition to the new laneway, footpath widening and public realm improvements for both Elizabeth Street and A’Beckett Streets will take place, including an elevated wooden plinth fronting A'Beckett Street.
It is expected that once approval is granted for 398 Elizabeth Street a sales campaign will follow shortly after, with construction expected to commence sometime next year if all goes to plan.
All images © Hayball.