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.
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.
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
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 That particular scheme was superseded by another Peddle Thorp design which gained approval during 2013.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.
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.
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.