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360 Collins Street set for a makeover

Amongst a range of items considered by the Future Melbourne (Planning) Committee on Tuesday night was an application for 360 Collins Street. The application comprises an extension to the existing glazing along the Collins Street façade, a relatively modest 13-level expansion to the north and refurbishment of the forecourt area fronting Little Collins Street flanked by two storey retail elements topped by landscaped roofs, outdoor dining and seating.

Designed by Bates Smart for owners Dexus, the proposal is a significant departure from a 15-storey development over the forecourt approved in in September 2011. The revised scheme sees the extended floor plates to the rear set well back from Little Collins Street and cascading down in height to the new double storey retail which has been designed to engage with pedestrians and act as a public interface between the commercial office component and the central public open space. The expansion will add 5,698sqm of office space to the existing 39,608sqm tower for a total of 45,306sqm.

360 Collins Street - forecourt comparison. © Bates Smart

The proposal seeks approval to partially demolish a portion of the Collins and Little Collins Street facades at 360 Collins Street and develop the site with an integrated refurbishment of the site. The proposal will renew and expand the existing office building through providing additional commercial floor area within a prime CBD locality. The redevelopment will provide a built form that will complement the surrounding urban context, and sensitively respond to the adjoining heritage building (ANZ building) to the west.

Bates Smart

The forecourt area will be refurbished and redeveloped with 631sqm of green open space. A lightweight glazed vertical façade at podium level along Collins Street will act as a podium element with a refurbished lobby at ground floor that will provide access through the building from Collins Street to the forecourt area while retaining and enhancing the existing vista through to McKillop Street. Additionally the proposal includes end-of-trip facilities consisting of 80 bicycle parking spaces and 17 showers at ground floor accessed via the Collins Way thoroughfare to the east.

360 Collins Street - section comparison. © Bates Smart

The overall strategy for the development is not too dissimilar to the retail development at 500 Bourke Street designed by John Wardle Architects. That project also features a north facing forecourt area flanked by retail activity bathed in sunshine and has made a positive contribution to the public domain in activating what was otherwise a largely underutillised space. A glazed canopy to Bourke Street and refurbished entry lobby tops off the scope of works completed.

500 Bourke Street © Matt Browne/John Wardle Architects

Comment

With development sites capable of accommodating large scale office developments in the CBD few and far between developers are increasingly turning their attention to existing stock and looking at potential opportunities to add value to their assets.

In addition to 500 Bourke Street mentioned above other developments which have implemented a similar approach include 555 Bourke Street and 570 Bourke Street whereby redevelopments have sought to increase the Net Lettable Area (NLA) either via outward expansion to the boundary or upward with additional floors while also improving the pedestrian experience at street level via active retail frontages.

Generally these infill developments have occurred on underutilized plaza areas and while the amount of open space has been reduced, an improved quality of public space has been provided instead with greater interface between surrounding built form.

Comparative summary

Attribute Existing 2011 Scheme 2014 Scheme
Office Addition to North   18,196sqm 4,478sqm
Office Addition to South   1,340sqm 1,510sqm
Total Office Area of Planning Submission   36,028sqm 19,455sqm
Terrace Total Area 0 456sqm 1,326sqm
Retail Total Area 70sqm 460sqm 1,543sqm
Landscape Area 168sqm 0 160sqm
Public Space Shaded 0 655sqm 360sqm
Public Space Unshaded 1,042sqm 0 111sqm
Public Space Total 1,210sqm 655sqm 631sqm

2 comments

Rohan Storey's picture

About time the street level was rebuilt to a similar scale as the historic bldgs next door, fixing the mistake of the original minimal setback. However, a horizontal glazed box on legs is neither very creative nor provides much of street level interest.

And keeping some open space in the north facing courtyard is excellent - wonder how they were talked into that ? Shows how such valued but private open spaces are not protected at all and can be lost easily.

Lookingupatbuildings

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Wink Brand Design's picture

North facing courtyard will be fabulous. The recently developed courtyard at 500 Bourke Street is often covered in sunshine and usually buzzing. I expect this to be the same once finished. It's an exciting development and looking forward to tracking the progress.

Wink Brand Design

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