Following submission to state planning authority DPCD during January, only now are dKO Architecture poised to add another approved design to their portfolio with 387-395 Docklands Drive. Currently an at grade car park, dKO have devised a dual tower residential complex atop a common podium to take its place. Nestled behind the initial tranche of residential towers at developer MAB Corporation's successful Newquay precinct, the complex would deliver further apartments and activity to what is Docklands most populous precinct.
Taking the area's surrounds into account, dKo Architecture have delivered a highly complimentary design featuring their near trademark use of precast panels in a irregular vertical pattern aided by a gold facade. Complementary in that the golden facade ties in with that of MAB Corporation's current, nearby residential offering Newquay Promenade while the white, precast-laden podium holds commonality with another dKO design located at 6-22 Pearl River Road.
With Singapore-based developer Hiap Hoe poised to deliver 6-22 Pearl River road in its approved form, it's quite likely that when completed 6-22 Pearl River Road and 387-395 Docklands Drive will appear as bookends within the precinct, framing the former yet soon to be redeveloped Waterfront City precinct.
Delivering the northern tower initially will allow greater street frontage and pedestrian activity to Dockland Drive, further enhancing its already solid foot traffic. Whilst ensuring the waterfront promenade along Newquay is a success, equally as important is the built form and urban realm along Docklands Drive as whilst most occasional visitors and tourists will traverse the area using the waterfront, regular workers, residents, shoppers and students populate Docklands Drive. Quite simply, the quicker the remaining empty sites fronting Docklands Drive can be developed with active street frontages, the better.
As submitted, the scheme calls for dual 17 level residential towers of 57 metres in height. With 347 apartments in total, the mix consists of 3 studio dwellings, 231 one bedroom options and 113 two bedroom options. A common car park will be located above ground within the podium catering for 146 spaces in addition to facilities for 115 bicycles. Shrouded in an apartments, 158m² of retail space, 7 home offices and accentuated by a vertical green wall, the car park will be obscured from view.
The development is split into two stages where the northern Stage A is slated to be delivered first, while Stage B is currently a detailed conceptual design which will be subject to its own planning application. Having said that level four is expected to host a common landscaped area between the two towers for residential use whilst level 7 over both buildings will carry a large setback allowing for further green areas and residential amenity to be incorporated.
The site in question already maintains an approved commercial development scheme for a 5 star BBCA / 4.5 star NABERS office complex, as seen below. A product of Melbourne architecture firm Hassell, the 22,000m² A Grade office tower was to have a commercial car park component involving 438 parking bays over lower levels plus in excess to 200 bicycle spaces. Although likely superseded by the current residential application, MAB Corporation would seemingly hold the flexibility of maintaining both designs should they deem one more viable over the other.
Conversely Hassell have also designed a new office complex entitled The Quarter directly opposite at 396 Docklands Drive, heightening the likelihood that 387-395 Docklands Drive will materialise as a residential complex. Currently on offer, detailed imagery of 396 Dockland Drive can be found via the Gareth Servant website.
The current residential application was forwarded to Melbourne City Council's Future Melbourne Committee for analysis and comment. Dated September 2013, the officers recommendation provides in principal support for 387-395 Docklands Drive subject to a number of conditions generally surrounding further information requirements prior to construction. A final DPCD planning decision is pending.