The recent upward trajectory of St Kilda Junction has received an exclamation mark of sorts with a massive mixed-use planning application currently with City of Port Phillip.
Located at 8-12 Punt Road and 3-7 Wellington Street, the project which has been dubbed One St Kilda Junction would stand at over 90 metres if given the green light. Developer Drekoncile Pty Ltd has engaged Plus Architecture who have in turn created a uniquely shaped tower which incorporates a spiral form over its lower levels.
One St Kilda Junction would carry on the recent apartment push into St Kilda Junction, with the area's most recognisable recent addition, The Icon, adjacent to the current Plus Architecture-driven proposal.
Positioned right on the “Junction” the site has a responsibility to achieve significant site status. It must also elevate the built form conditions in the immediate context by setting a new precedent for any future development aspirations.
The result is a spiralling massing that begins at a historical scale of old St Kilda Road, then extrudes vertically to respond to the existing context heights of Wellington Street, with the spiral completing its turn at a height suitable for a symbolic building. The spiral form allows for the landscaping to continue vertically above the street tree canopies on the many terraces that are formed by the spiral shape.
The site shares three boundaries to three separate streets all with activated facades to achieve a day long activity at the ground plans and the immediate levels above. A pedestrian link running North South between Nelson Street and Wellington Street will give Nelson Street the opportunity to have some thriving North facing retail space.
The digital façade which holds the podium together as a horizontal band is a response to existing on site conditions, the unique traffic environment, and the vibrancy of St Kilda. This digital façade will also assist to elevate the identity of St Kilda Junction and this proposal.Town planning report for One St Kilda Junction
Very few Melbourne planning applications have sought to include integrated digital façades as part of their development, yet given One St Kilda Junction 's positioning and existing exposure to billboard adverts the development team have chosen to apply digital screening over levels three and four.
Adverts, urban art installations and public information announcements are possibilities for the digital overlay which would capture passing traffic from Punt Road, St Kilda Road, Fitzroy Street and Barkly Street.
Consisting of semitransparent panels which would be internally illuminated by LED's the digital façade would still allow for external views and light penetration as it would for the most shroud office space over levels 3 and 4.
The development falls within the St Kilda Road South Precinct which is a preliminary strategic framework aiming to create new planning controls for the area.
At the time of One St Kilda Junction's submission the strategic framework plan had not yet been fully fomalised. It would seem that the development team has sought to utilise this 'grey area' with a proposal of 95 metres as opposed to the 35 metre limit called for within the preliminary strategic framework.
The Icon directly south of One St Kilda Junction passed successfully through VCAT during 2012 at 57 metres, thus providing a midway point or potentially a precedent between the developers want of 95 metres and Council's expectations of 35 metres. Council will not make a decision upon the merits of the proposal until this Wednesday at the very earliest.