57-61 City Road resubmitted and revisited

Drawing parallels to Monty Python's character The Black Knight, it seems some developments just don't know how to give up. 57-61 City Road fits the bill as the developer is seeking altered planning approval once more, after first surfacing during 2010.

Following a drawn out approvals process in which Melbourne City Council ultimately rejected the tower in its presented form, the proponents of the time took the application to VCAT for a more palatable outcome. Consequently at the behest of VCAT, an order was issued to Melbourne City Council mandating approval for the intended tower during April 2011.

As is generally the way with first time developers, the site was listed for sale thereafter with a reported asking price of near $12 million for site and endorsed plans.

57-61 City Road. Image © Artisan Architects

The proposal

Currently Artisan Architects website carries the following description of 57-61 City Road:

The design of this new 37 level building of 246 Apartments and 110 car spaces was inspired by its context and its intended users. The building presents itself as a series of “boxes of technology”, giving this striking tower a unique presence in its urban context. Along with many ESD initiatives, the planning of this new tower also takes advantage of its long vista back to the Yarra River and Flinders Street Station.

Artisan Architects

Artisan Architects along with client Tapil Pty Ltd submitted the revised planning documents late 2013, which essentially carries the same design externally, yet with a number of changes to the podium's internal configuration. Chief amongst these is the deletion of traditional ramped car parking access in favour of a dual car lift system. Consequently the improved access now sees 115 car parks included with access via Fawkner Street, nestled behind City Road.

The revised scheme still expects a yield of 246 apartments, split equally between one and two bedroom apartments. Office space of 120 square metres is also included within the podium while a total of 210 square metres of retail space is spread over the ground floor.

Key design initatives

As with most contemporary residential planning applications, sustainability initiatives play an ever increasing role in project viability/marketability/livability etc. Key design initiatives included within 57-61 City Road as outlined by engineering consultancy firm ADP Consulting include:

  • An average apartment energy rating of at least 6.0 stars for the development
  • Natural ventilation to all apartments
  • 2 kW solar photovoltaic system
  • Car park ventilation controlled by CO sensors
  • High levels of daylight to all living and bedroom areas
  • Central solar gas-boosted hot water system delivering 25% annual hot water contribution
  • A 20,000 litre rainwater tank for toilet flushing and irrigation
A compilation of Artisan projects. Images © Artisan Architects

Artisan Architects seek the elusive skyscraper

An active 57-61 City Road application means it joins a cluster of high-rise residential towers designed by Artisan Architects which have yet to come to fruition, including 10 in Fishermans Bend alone!

Granted those Fishermans Bend towers like all others in the designated Urban Renewal Area have yet to receive approval (owing to a pending release of a final masterplan) but nonetheless a number of other high-rise projects in areas such as South Melbourne and Footscray have yet to reach construction for a variety of reasons.

No doubt Artisan Architects would dearly like to see at least one if not more of the above projects realised in a style of architecture that is certainly their own. One could surmise it would be reward for toil given the expanding body of work credited to the architecture firm.

And if 57-61 City Road is not realised? 'Tis but a scratch' according to The Black Knight, for perseverance surely pays... or does it?


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