850-850 Lorimer Street.  © Hayball

Planning Application > 850-858 Lorimer Street

With Montague Precinct receiving the lion's share media attention in recent weeks (despite many being clueless as to its exact whereabouts), now might be an opportune time to shift the focus onto another of the four precincts which make up the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area: Lorimer.

As illustrated in the diagram below Lorimer Precinct provides a crucial interface with Yarra's Edge: a natural extension of sorts bounded by the M1, Lorimer acts as a mediator between Yarra's Edge and the Sandridge Precinct to the south.

Located directly behind the forthcoming Bolte Precinct within Yarra's Edge, Southbank-based Hayball have developed a masterplan for a staged four tower apartment complex at 850-858 Lorimer Street on behalf of clients Goodman.

Like a handful of other land holders within Fishermans Bend, Goodman are better known for commercial and industrial development rather than apartments. With 850-858 Lorimer Street the first of four land parcels controlled by Goodman within the area to seek planning consent, it would come as little surprise if they sold the site should planning approval be achieved.

Subject site and surrounds

Triangular in shape, 850-858 Lorimer Streetand has an area of approximately 1.01 hectares. It currently accommodates a mix of commercial, warehouse and office space in a series of low-rise structures.

To the south at 351 Ingles Street (seen in green above) sits an at grade, open air car park that has a current planning application before Government. Conceived by Artisan Architects, the five tower residential complex would carry 1,915 Apartments and 1,509 carspaces. ​

To the north of the site is a vacant tract of land which into the future will carry the aforementioned Bolte Precinct within Yarra's Edge, spearheaded by Tower 10. The previously highlighted Tower 10 at Yarra's Edge reiterates the importance of activated and well articulated podium facades along Lorimer Street, particularly now that we are beginning to see more and more applications lodged within Lorimer abutting the area.

Proposed development

The masterplan for the site allows for four towers employing a podium setback tower typology accommodating 1,354 apartments across a combined 146 storeys. The development has been designed in such a way to allow each site to be developed individually, split stages or concurrently.

To facilitate this process and produce a quality outcome in keeping with the intent of the FBURA guidelines, Hayball have developed a series of guiding principles for various elements of the masterplan. These are categorized as Public Realm, Podium, Tower.

Public realm masterplan principles

Public Open Space –– The public open space will be formed through the creation of a new plaza which is connected via a pedestrian walkway between Lorimer and Ingles Street.

  • Plaza Area: 602 sqm
  • Pedestrian Link: 413.5 sqm

Through Block Links –– Pedestrian link to connect Lorimer Street and Ingles Street should be no greater than 100 metres from the intersection corner of Ingles and Lorimer Streets –– Pedestrian link should measure 12 metres wide from building to building and is open to daylight and ventilation –– Actual pedestrian walkway should measure 3 metres wide, excluding landscape and planting buffers

Continuous Public Accessibility –– Pedestrian link should be publicly accessible at all times. All streets and lanes should be in accordance with current DDA standards for public areas

Climatic Comfort of Pedestrians –– The pedestrian link should be designed as a crescent to avoid wind tunnel effects of a straight N-S link. –– Pedestrian link should receive a substantial amount of daylight and natural ventilation

Active Frontages –– The pedestrian link should provide active frontages by sleeving 4-6 storey townhouses on either side

Vehicular Entry –– All vehicular entries and service access to occur off Ingles Street. Lorimer Street to be kept as a primary frontage with active uses

Podium masterplan principles

Low Rise Podium Scale –– Podium should measure 22 metres from street level to parapet to maintain a low pedestrian scale face to Lorimer and Ingles Street.

Active Frontages and Passive Surveillance –– Podium face will be occupied with active uses comprising of residential and commercial tenancies on ground floor to maintain passive surveillance onto street –– Services and vehicular entries to be located on Ingles Street instead of the main frontage of Lorimer Street –– Ground floor of podium to have designated spaces for retail and micro tenancies adjacent / near to residential lobbies and plaza

Concealed Carpark –– Car park to be completely concealed behind sleeved apartments on all street frontages. Where the carpark has a permeable face of screening, podium wall should be setback and screened with vertical landscape elements

Residential Mix and Diversity –– Podium mix to consist of townhouses, ranging from 3 bedrooms to micro studios as well as SOHO units on the ground floor to attract a wide variety of users and occupants.

Podium Grain –– Podium facade to reflects a fine grain character with articulated elements serving to provide high quality internal amenity

Defined Street Edge –– Podium to run continuous on Lorimer and Ingles Street frontages as well as along pedestrian link to define street edge –– Dominant corner on Lorimer and Ingles Streets is to be ‘anchored’ by podium + tower above

Podium Rooftop –– Level 6 podium rooftop to consist of residents’ storage, communal facilities, pool and gymnasium and a large private outdoor space. These spaces should be well located within passive surveillance of the towers above

Acoustic Amenity to Podium Units Fronting Lorimer St –– Facade treatments consist of solid and openable panels + directed glazing to acoustically protect the amenity of residential facing Lorimer Street

Tower masterplan principles

Adequate Street Setbacks –– Towers 1A and 2A will be set back a minimum of 5 metres from Lorimer and Ingles Street frontage, with reduce setback to 1 metre at specific points to achieve generous tower separation –– Towers permitted to have pinch points of less than 2 metres of parallel facade where setbacks are less than 5 metres from street boundary

Adequate Tower Separation –– Tower separations within the development will range from 12.5 metres (min) to 28 metres (max) –– Stage 2A and 2B to be setback 15 metres and 10 metres respectively, from shared eastern site boundary of adjoining property to protect the reasonable amenity (privacy, views and daylight) for occupants

Minimal Overlooking in between Towers –– Towers to be designed to orientate away from each other to minimise direct overlooking of nearby towers –– Facade treatments to be employed by offsetting or angling views to overcome direct overlooking where necessary

Clustered Towers on Same Site –– Orientation of towers will maximise northern views of the harbour and water edge, as well as the CBD in the distance. –– Tower orientation to provide good solar amenity into internal spaces –– Towers will have varying architectural form, materials and detail to reinforce the character of site

Visual Impact and Profile –– Towers to be slender in form and designed to be viewed from all sides. –– Views towards the development from Bolte Bridge and CBD will be taken into consideration for tower composition –– Services on roof are to be concealed by rooftop communal facilities


The podium is intended to be expressed as a solid, heavy element that is punctured and peeled back where necessary to allow for internal amenity. The treatment to the tower element varies depending on elevation - north features glazed louvred winter gardens to mitigate wind and improve the amenity to balcony areas, whereas the south elevations employ a 2:3 ratio of glazed verses solid screening bands acting as the mediator between tower and podium.

One interesting aspect that is happening with a number of proposals within the the FBURA, particularly the larger consolidated sites under single ownership is the preference for staged multi-tower developments atop a single podium featuring clone towers. The danger is creating homogenous towers of similar height and finish not unlike the Central Equity experience in Southbank.

If multi-tower developments are to be the way forward for Fishermans Bend then architectural diversity, variable height, a good mix of housing typologies and meaningful contributions to the public realm via well designed active spaces are key to ensuring a good quality outcome.

As further details of proposals within Lorimer come to light, Urban Melbourne will begin to develop a digital model of all the proposals similar to what was previously done with the Montague Precinct.

Project team

  • Developer: Goodman Group
  • Architecture: Hayball
  • Town Planner: Urbis
  • Landscape Architecture: Oculus
  • Traffic Consultant: GTA Consultants
  • Services + ESD Consultant: Wood & Grieve
  • Wind Assessment Consultant: MEL Consult
  • Waste Management Consultant: Leigh Design
  • Structural Consultant: Mordue Engineering
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