West Melbourne continues its upward trajectory with the subject of today's article the third intended project for Singaporean-backed World Class Land in Melbourne. Foreshadowed on Urban Melbourne during October, 385-405 King Street West Melbourne seeks to replace an existing office block with an Elenberg Fraser-designed apartment tower defined by its angular, fragmented facade.
One of a host of tall residential towers slated for West Melbourne, 385-405 King Street is perhaps the most high-profile in that it directly fronts Flagstaff Gardens; a point not lost upon the development team.
Flagstaff Hill is celebrated as an everchanging historical monument. The history of the hill is described in the Flagstaff Gardens Masterplan as a landscape with layers of fragmented patterns.
The extensive tree canopies throughout the gardens create an ethereal atmosphere; the constantly changing, intangible qualities of dappled light are expressed in the proposed design through the faceted façade. The appearance of the building constantly changes depending on the position of the viewer. The faceted parts of the façade offer fragmented reflections of the park, sky and surrounding cityscape.
The Modernist and High Victorian architectural styles of the surrounding buildings are a record of Melbourne’s architectural and social development. The proposed development aims to carry on the built legacy of these urban artefacts by reinterpreting these styles in a new and contemporary architecture born of the immediate area.Elenberg Fraser, Urban Context Report
While the tower's massing is designed to achieve an outcome consistent with applicable building controls, 385-405 King Street's exterior is the major design draw card. Consisting primarily of silver glazing with bronze and clear glazing for highlights, the facade is expected to be highly reflective.
In this way the tower will essentially appear as predominantly blue or green in capturing the sky or Flagstaff Gardens over the diagonally articulated facade.
18 separate apartment type are included within the proposed tower, distributed into apartments with one, two or three bedrooms, all with balconies. The smaller single bedroom apartments contain 40sqm of internal living space ranging up to 59sqm while two bedroom dwellings are in the 45sqm to 77sqm range.
Standard three bedroom apartments carry 88sqm of internal space while three bedroom penthouses are boosted to between 120sqm and 142sqm of internal area.
To service the 392 apartments, an amenities rooftop terrace has been included. Created by Jack Merlo Design, the core activities area will consist of a lounge, dining area, library, kitchen, additional lounge and theatrette. Flanking the central area will be dual lawn areas featuring expansive views, daybeds and landscaping highlighted by hanging Ornamental Grape vines.
Schedule 33 of the Design and Development Overlay requires any new development does not shadow Flagstaff Gardens during the September equinox between the hours of 11am and 2pm. This is achieved with a shadow cast over Flagstaff Gardens only late into the afternoon.
Submitted during July, 385-405 King Street has yet to appear on Future Melbourne's list of assessed projects and given the State election leading into the year's end, it's unlikely a final planning decision will be publicly revealed until the first quarter of 2015.