Planning Application > 68-70 Dorcas Street, Southbank

At roughly the same point in time where two adjoining residential towers gained approval, a planning application for 68-70 Dorcas Street, Southbank was submitted for consideration to State planning body DTPLI. According to the planning report a period of consultation between the development team, DTPLI and City of Melbourne was held prior to the submission of what would be one of the taller towers within this pocket of Southbank.

Located on the corner of Dorcas Street and Dodds Street, the development calls for the 274-apartment building to be crowned by a distinctive metal rooftop feature and a 360 degree communal rooftop facility.

Application summary

  • Current site use: 3 level commercial building
  • Application for development lodged August 2014
  • 29 levels at 92.2 metres
  • Site area: 1,478sqm
  • Apartments: 274 (1/2/3 bedroom options)
  • Ground floor tenancies of 167sqm & 73sqm
  • 193 basement car parking spaces & 101 bicycle spaces
Artists impression of 68-70 Dorcas Street. Image courtesy SJB

External appearance

68-70 Dorcas Street discerns itself from its neighbours by employing an elliptical tower form, which is in contrast to the unbroken rectangular format of all surrounding buildings. Also noticeable is the lack of horizontal banding common with surrounding apartment buildings, rather a more uniform vertical finish has been applied.

The defining characteristic of the design is the curved surface of the tower, skinned in a ‘patchwork’ of subtly contrasting facade panels. The panel types are presented in muted tones and have distinct surface qualities notable by texture, reflectivity and transparency.

The blend of panel types, combined with an offset grid arrangement, creates a dynamic surface which makes for a constantly changing experience in relation to the onlooker’s position and the light illuminating the facade.

SJB Architects - Planning Report

Materials employed would see a mixture of glazing colours, a variety of metal clad finishes and stone veneer cladding with precast elements to less conspicuous areas.

Public Amenity

68-70 Dorcas Street is described as an "iconic" design within the planning report, with Urbis stating the development will provide positive benefits to the public realm. With atypical looks and an active street level interface, the tower would be more sympathetic/engaging to its surrounds than the current, dated commercial office building.

Of key consideration in relation to this proposal is the impact of overshadowing by the development. The submitted Design Proposal prepared by SJB Architects includes shadow diagrams at the equinox which demonstrate that the proposal will not overshadow any significant features or parkland in the area.

Urbis - Planning Report
68-70 Dorcas Street in context. Image courtesy SJB

The immediate area surrounding 68-70 Dorcas Street has seen a measured flow of apartment development over the last decade, with 8 on Dorcas the first of the new millennia apartment buildings in the area. More recently Elm by Fridcorp, Guildford by Evolve Development and Premier Capital Developments' Sunday Apartments have added a combined 876 apartments.

Pipeline projects joining 68-70 Dorcas Street nearby include the at sales 33 Coventry Street by VIMG and the recently approved 58-66 Dorcas Street which abuts the site in question. Limited sizeable development sites remain in the area making 68-70 Dorcas Street with its uninterrupted Southbank and CBD views a noticeable presence in the area.

68-70 Dorcas Street development team

  • Developer: 20Q Development Co P/L
  • Architect: SJB
  • Planning: Urbis
  • Traffic: mga.
  • Landscaping: Formium
  • Wind Engineer: MEL Consultants
  • Structural Engineer: 4D Workshop
  • Services Engineer: O'Neill Group
  • Waste Management: Leigh Design
  • ESD: ark resources

Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.


Transport & Design

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 12:00
When a site spans 19,280 square metres, it becomes a 'district'. That's the case according to the development team behind the Jam Factory's pending overhaul. Reporting on the project to date has focused on the close to 60,000 square metres of new commercial space that is earmarked for the site, but more importantly from a layperson's perspective is the extensive new public realm that is planned as part of the development.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.