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Leighton initiate the Readings Moonee Ponds transformation

With a total site area of 13,390sqm in their keeping, Leighton Properties have chosen to divide the prized Readings Moonee Ponds site into separate development parcels, the first of which has recently been lodged with City of Moonee Valley. Highlighted by Urban Melbourne during May 2013, the then sales campaign included an indicative development scheme of 30 levels.

Subsequently parent company Leighton Holdings was revealed as the buyer and approximately a year later have presented in conjunction with project partner Qualitas a planning submission with the intent of delivering a substantial apartment project.

Application summary

  • Stage 1 development: 40 Hall Street, Moonee Ponds
  • Current site use: at grade car park (formerly Moonee Ponds Market)
  • Application for development lodged September 2014
  • 15 levels @ 49.2 metres
  • Site area: 2,388sqm
  • 162 apartments (1/2 bedroom) & 2 retail tenancies over 437sqm
  • 137 car spaces & 70 bicycle spaces
Artist's impression of 40 Hall Street . Image © Plus

Design impetus

Plus Architecture have employed a gentle undulating facade over the tower with a variety of materials on display. Differing glaze colours are joined by metal cladding, masonry and applied finishes (assumed precast) to create the external look.

The articulation of the building envelope is both unifying and highly adaptive. The design presents a singular bold expression to Hall Street, providing the relatively short building the required gravitas to anchor the future precinct in a clear and calm manner .

The design considerations have resulted in a unique and contemporary design response that will contribute significantly to this streetscape and the overall centre. The development displays a high amount of glazing, including a mixture of tinted glazing and glass balustrades. The proposal will incorporate quality materials and finishes, including a mix of applied light and dark colours to respond to the highly innovative architectural design of the overall building.

Plus Architecture: planning application design statement

Communal focus

Expected ground level thoroughfare. Image © Oculus

Consisting of recycled brick and concrete pavers, 40 Hall Street seeks a new north-south pedestrian link with a likely future extension through to Homer Street. Beyond ground, a 482sqm resident's communal garden is included over the mezzanine level whilst level 5 also carries a communal terrace complete with mature trees.

A 147sqm roof garden is proposed to supplement the indoor/outdoor rooftop communal terrace area. Included is a kitchen, dining area and lounge space whilst the external area holds a BBQ and dining/entertaining space. It's envisaged an easily reconfigured terrace could also hold an outdoor cinema with the CBD as a backdrop.

One of many

Readings overview with 40 Hall Street in red. Image © Urbis

Prior to 40 Hall Street's submission, City of Moonee Valley had indicated that 17 levels was an appropriate outcome of the Readings site. With scope for an additional four or five apartment towers onsite and the nearby Moonee Valley Racecourse seeking 25 level towers as part of its redevelopment, it remains to be seen whether Leighton will push for future towers in the 25-30 level vicinity.

In the wider context Urbis' 40 Hall Street planning report states "Moonee Ponds is expected to undergo a shift in character to a taller, higher density precinct. There are also a number of new developments under construction or approved in the wider area." Indeed Moonee Ponds continues on an upward trajectory in terms of apartment development.

Currently three separate apartment buildings fronting Moore Street are under construction whilst The Montgomery and MOPO are both at sales, yielding a combined 178 apartments. Other projects currently of note within the Moonee Ponds Activity Centre include the 10 level 6-14 Young Street and Moloney Group's 33 Hall Street at 14 levels.

40 Hall Street development team

  • Developer: Leighton Properties / Qualitas
  • Architect: Plus Architecture
  • Planning: Urbis
  • Transport: GTA Consultants
  • Landscape: Oculus
  • Sustainability: Lucid Consulting Australia
  • Waste Management: Leigh Design
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