Hiap Hoe have reinforced the trend of Asian-based developers proposing large-scale mixed-use developments within the City of Melbourne. Having purchased 380 Lonsdale Street during 2013, the developer has turned to the ubiquitous Elenberg Fraser to deliver a new scheme.
Superseding an approved single 47 storey tower design delivered by Spowers for the previous owner, Elenberg Fraser have increased height, apartment yield, included a hotel and maintained the initial designs width, albeit over two towers rather than one. It's the tremendous width of the proposal (running from Lonsdale to Little Lonsdale) which has enabled Elenberg Fraser to apply an architectural facade treatment which sees ripples emanating from a low slung nexus between towers and podium.
The revised proposal represents a landmark building of high architectural quality located in a prominent site within the city. It has been designed in a manner to be respectful of the character of the area and surrounding properties while making a notable contribution to the urban renewal and evolving character of this part of the CBD and will also support the various roles of the City Centre.Urbis Planning Permit Amendment Application
A graphic within the planning amendment application shows apartments have been categorised according to the dwellers status. 112 Residential Type 1 (owner occupier) apartments are located within the southern tower over levels 34-49 and are expected to consist of 64*1-Bed, 32*2-Bed and 16*2-Bed/2-Bath apartments.
Residential Type 2 (renter occupied) dwellings are limited to the taller northern tower with 616 apartments included. 224*1-Bed, 112*2-Bed and 280*2-Bed/2-Bath options constitute the apartment breakdown. Dividing the project into two towers categories by whether the occupant owns or rents the apartment isn't standard practice, although in this instance we assume the distinction is made due to the four star hotel within the southern tower and associated communal facilities use etc.
As part of the revised scheme no bedrooms will rely on borrowed light, improving upon the original design which town planner Urbis states would have been the case for many single bedroom apartments.
Elenberg Fraser have loosely maintained the form of the approved Spowers-designed podium structure, thus taking a step back from the unadorned uniform glass lines that have defined a number of their recent planning applications.
Two distinct volumes are kept in order to allow pedestrian access via a rejuvenated Timothy Lane, with a podium-top hotel swimming pool seemingly 'resting' across both built volumes. Transparent from beneath, the hotel pool will join mirrored cladding, pocket gardens, stone soffits, varied podium depths and active pedestrian frontages in bringing visual interest to the lower levels of the structure.
As it stands Starwood Hotels & Resorts have signed on to operate the southern Lonsdale tower hotel component under their Aloft brand, as was reported earlier this year. With essentially three quarts of the Lonsdale tower dedicated to hotel use alongside a relatively light 112 private apartments, Hiap Hoe could advance the initial tower to construction briskly post approval.
In addition Hiap Hoe and Melbourne-based Probuild currently have a partnership in place whereby the the latter will undertake the builds on both Hiap Hoe's current Melbourne projects, the other being Marina Tower.