Planning Application: 280 Queen Street, Melbourne

A design can now be put to the news reported upon during late 2014 concerning Brady Group's latest intended Melbourne project. 280 Queen Street has been in and out of planning for the best part of four years, but with the news that Brady Group is the intended developer of the mid-CBD site, the chances of the current scheme progressing beyond approval have increased dramatically.

Weighing in at over 250 metres in height and located in an elevated part of the CBD, 280 Queen Street may become one of the more prominent buildings to grace Melbourne's skyline in years to come. Or even sooner as according to the article linked above Brady Group intent to proceed with the project in a relatively short time-frame.

Application summary

280 Queen Street. Image © Peddle Thorp
  • Planning application submitted October 2014
  • Current 1,290sqm site currently used as four and five storey office building
  • Proposed 80 level mixed-use tower at 254.62 metres
  • 589 apartments - 242*1BR / 287 * 2BR / 36*3BR
  • Included are 23 Penthouses and one custom design penthouse
  • 1,400.2sqm office space through podium
  • 322.4sqm retail space
  • 504sqm residential communal facilities
  • 130 basement car parking spaces

Apartments and penthouses

Dwellings within the project begin within the podium, fronting both Little Lonsdale to the north and Queen Street to the west. Beyond the podium a generic floor plan covers levels 9-35 and 37-63 where 9 apartments per floor is the norm, split between one and two bedroom options.

Sitting atop the penthouse floors is a split level custom designed penthouse located over levels 76/77. The lower floor contains 290.2sqm of internal space while the upper floor contains 265.6sqm, allowing a sizeable dwelling with unimpeded views given there are no towers of equal height either existing or planned nearby.

Finlay Lane retained

There is an existing easement along the east boundary that joins with Finlay Lane, an ‘L’ shaped service lane, which connects to Queen Street. The existing easement and Finlay Lane provide rear access to the adjoining buildings. The lane is covered in registered street art. The proposed development seeks to maintain a predominately hard edge to this boundary with openings for vehicle access and loading. This will provide opportunities for future street art along the majority of these walls, maintaining the existing character of this lane.

Urbis - Town Planning Report

Previous incarnations

Peddle Thorp have been active on the site in question for some years, initially devising a scheme for an office tower in excess of 200 metres, carrying a dappled facade. That particular scheme was superseded by another Peddle Thorp design which gained approval during 2013.

Championed by developers with little experience, the site lent itself to being onsold post approval resulting in the third and current version up for approval.

Early versions of 280 Queen Street. Image © Peddle Thorp

Also worthy of mention is that the current proposal for 280 Queen Street includes inactive precast panels to its eastern facade, reaching mid way up the tower. This is likely in response to the adjoining property at 399 Little Lonsdale Street which is also subject to a current 200 metre planning application.

399 Little Lonsdale Street's western-facing facade is also heavy with precast elements, albeit slightly activated with the sparse use of windows. Both proposals almost butt one another; the use of precast panels may go some way to mitigating concerns planning authorities may have about proximity.


Artist's impressions of the proposed development. Image © Peddle Thorp

The tower element of the design receives two thumbs up. With a bowed northern aspect and slanted roof profile, it adds more to the skyline than merely another rectangular box. Viewed from east and west, the asymmetrical apex is a worthwhile design feature.

Conversely the podium as presented in the renders looks less than ideal. In a case of 'misconstrued' rendering what looks to be a large blank orange volume is actually timber screening over activated levels while the yellow protrusion above the main entry is gold metal cladding. Fair to say it's quite hard to conceptualise the qualities of the podium based on the render above.

On the face of it the podium doesn't slot seamlessly into its surrounds.

Regardless Peddle Thorp have made the immediate area their own with 280 Queen Street joining the completed Melbourne Star and Melbourne Sky apartment towers (both Brady Group projects), in addition to 278 Little Lonsdale which is at planning. Add the under construction Vision and the Brady Group-Peddle Thorp alliance is defined by a handful of deep blue towers dominating the area.

Development team

  • Developer: 280 Queen Pty Ltd / Brady Group
  • Urban context report: Peddle Thorp Architects
  • Architectural plans: Peddle Thorp Architects
  • Town planning: Urbis
  • Traffic and Transport Assessment: Cardno
  • ESD report: Sustainable Built Environments
  • Wind Assessment: MEL Consultants
  • Waste Management:y Leigh Design


3000's picture

This is a middle of the road development. Nothing groundbreaking but better than some of the stuff approved.
That podium is a not my thing at all.

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Melbourne_Fragments's picture

Peddle Thorp should be banned from any project in the city beyond the odd tacky aquarium or sports stadium thats mostly out of sight

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Adrian's picture

I can't believe the hate towards this tower both here and elsewhere.

The podium is far more interesting that your average apartment development it features artwork, excellent streetfront engagement with the wraparound glass retail and what appears to be a wooden bench or seated area under the awning, whilst it also continues the 'cheesestick' theme of City Link gateway at street level which is now a uniquely Melbourne theme.

On a large scale the cathedral roof is inspiring and should be applauded - the developer has sacrificed sellable floor space to give the building a grand aesthetic which will enhance the Melbourne skyline with a new shape it has not seen before - rather than the enormous blue box it could otherwise have been.

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Crz's picture

Design wise, it's one of Brady's better product offering but you'll notice similar similarity between Melbourne Sky and Star to this one with their " UGLY" orange cladding trademark and the less than desirable fake timber used.

This side of town is starting to look a lot like Brady town. Cheap and nasty finishes.

That podium leaves nothing to desire about. It's absolutely horrendous. You don't have to look far with the outcome of Melbourne Star and Sky.

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3000's picture

The tower itself is fine. The shape is something different but for me it's the podium that seems mismatched. Surely it could have all the retail and activation but with something not as ugly?

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Adrian's picture

Well we fundamentally disagree then - I think the podium around Melbourne Star & Sky looks great with the finishes and has re-invigorated that area completely where it was previously a lifeless void. The orange adds a splash of colour to an otherwise very rustic neighborhood.

La Banque and their other recent tower up other end of Little Lonsdale St near Exhibition are on the other hand below the line for quality.

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Rohan Storey's picture

Pleased to see that this design has a proper podium with setbacks to the tower, unlike the previous office proposal. I like my streetscapes to be people scaled. Sits oddly with the wierdly narrow one next door on little lonsdale though, which has no setback from the street and is maybe separated from this one by 4m ?

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