Besgate notch their third current Melbourne project at planning

Sydney-based developer Besgate has lined up their third sizeable Melbourne apartment project with a planning application for a substantial Carlton building lodged during late 2015. Backed by private mainland Chinese interests, Besgate's intended 558-566 Swanston Street joins two CBD projects in bolstering the developers burgeoning presence in Melbourne.

179 apartments are slated for the Jackson Clements Burrows-designed project, which when combined with the nearby Upper House and ongoing CUB site transformation, will further add to the gradual uplift of Swanston Street's built form which has heavily been influenced by awkwardly designed student housing buildings over past years.

KM Develop will act as Development Manager and will oversee 558-566 Swanston Street from its infancy through to delivery, controlling most aspects of the development such as feasibility and financial analysis, project branding, coordinating the sales and marketing campaign, tendering and general project administration.

558-566 Swanston Street development summary

Swanston Street perspective. Image courtesy Jackson Clements Burrows
  • 1,600 sqm site between Queensberry Street and Pelham Street.
  • Currently used as a car dealership and workshop.
  • Proposed 17 level tower at 55.25 metres in height.
  • 179 apartments: 85 x 1BR, 88 x 2BR, 6 x 3BR.
  • One retail shop space: 106.3 sqm.
  • 103 car spaces and 130 bicycle spaces included.
  • Level 11 and 15 amenities areas including lounge, gym and outdoor terrace.
  • Expected project cost: $40 million.

Architect's statement

The unique composition of the building was conceived through a series of urban design gestures. Initially, the building's mass is broken down by a series of vertical ravines expressing separate tower forms of differing heights.

The ravines provide light, air and natural ventilation to the corridors. The idea of the stepped building is then introduced to provide varied building heights that articulate a series of visually distinct neighbourhoods that make up a larger whole. At higher levels the distinct forms are further activated through cantilevers to create a series of "periscope" like forms.

This compositional gesture moves away from the 'wedding cake' envelope of conventional multi-residential projects by proposing a sculptural building envelope which will enhance the textural richness of the built fabric of Swanston Street.

Planning application: Urban Context Report and Design Response

Externally 558-566 Swanston Street will generally consist of precast concrete, glazing, alucobond fascias and metal cladding, with vertical screening a highlight.

As envisaged from Queensberry Street. Image courtesy Jackson Clements Burrows

A trio to be reckoned with

The magic number for Besgate's Melbourne intentions as it stands is 1,268. This is the total number of apartments the outfit has in planning locally, spread over its three premier sites.

Joining 558-566 Swanston Street is 140 King Street at 59 levels along with the more imposing 640 Bourke Street, both of which are the work of Rothelowman. The latter at 66 levels and 818 apartments also has scope for an increased floor count subject to various aviation-based approvals.

While Besgate is positioning itself as a player within the Melbourne apartment market, it has been active in both Sydney and Shanghai for some time.

KM Develop will act as development manager across all three of Besgate's Melbourne projects.

558-566 Swanston Street development team

  • Developer: Besgate (Bestgate Swanston Street Pty Ltd)
  • Architect: Jackson Clements Burrows
  • Town planning and Urban Context Report: Contour Consultants Australia
  • Traffic and Parking: Traffix Group
  • ESD: Ark Resources
  • Waste Management: Leigh Design
  • Environmental Assessment: Compass
  • Wind Engineer: Vipac
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