Hotel Lindrum the latest to seek high-rise development

By both necessity and opportunity, the owners of Hotel Lindrum are seeking approval for a high-rise tower set behind their historic former Romanesque tea warehouse which fronts Flinders Street.

Entity TMG Developments Pty Ltd is pursuing the development in part due to Hotel Lindrum's pending loss of guest car parking in the adjoining multi-level car park which is subject to a development application. In addition to expanded hotel suites and residential apartments, guest car parking will be consolidated onsite under the proposal.

Bates Smart has conceived a slim tower of some 30 levels, substantially lower than the initial site application which called for 53 levels.

26-30 Flinders Street application summary

Street level perspective of the proposed tower. Planning image: Bates Smart
  • Existing 5 storey Hotel Lindrum contains 59 suites
  • Proposed 30 level mixed-use tower at 100 metres in height
  • Hotel suites numbers expanded to 77
  • 62 residential apartments: 12 x 1BR, 36 x 2BR, 2 x 3BR, 12 x 4BR
  • Total Gross Floor Area: 12,448 square metres
  • Two basement levels
  • 1 podium restaurant space at 276 square metres
  • Capacity for 80 bicycles and 38 vehicles in a Multiparker system

What remains of the existing structure

With over 100 years of history, the existing structure was best known as a billiard and snooker centre with the niece of champion billiard player Walter Lindrum managing the business, hence the Lindrum reference within the current name.

Heritage advisory Bryce Raworth prepared a Heritage Impact Analysis as a response to Council queries toward the development of the building which is included on the heritage overlay schedule of the Melbourne Planning Scheme as HO 1034.

Under current plans it's expected that the majority of the existing structure will be demolished for the proposed tower, with the southern facade to remain intact. Approximately half the eastern and western facades will remain as will limited interior walls according to plans.

53 levels at a stretch 

Hotel Lindrum in its earlier, taller guise. Planning image: Bates Smart

The initial version of 26-30 Flinders Street was submitted during July 2015 with revised plans put forward in recent weeks. City of Melbourne found a number of issues with the original proposal which would have spanned 183.3 metres in height and included 143 residential apartments above 83 hotel suites.

A 'facaded' outcome and a deviation from "accepted conservation standards" were chief amongst Council's concerns, with a "significant height reduction, increased setbacks and refinements to the architectural treatment of the intermediate levels of the tower" included in the revised plans.

The current version also sees an increase in separation from the existing building to tower above by way of an expanded transitional design element separation the two.

It's a trend

Hotel developments proposed for significant locations

Hotel Lindrum is the fifth significant building in the eastern reaches of the CBD to see new or expanded hotel facilities proposed. Whilst some projects have faltered, others are poised to advance.

Windsor Hotel and Bourke Street's Palace Theatre are the two highest profile projects, with both now free to pursue expanded or new hotel developments.

The proposed hotel above what was Rosati Restaurant at 95 Flinders Lane failed to eventuate whilst the most recent development incarnation of the Forum Theatre had its processing suspended midway through planning with City of Melbourne.


SYmlb's picture

Hopefully this covers up Shell House (about time) and doesn't have another blank wall on the other side. Wokd be disappointing to replace one blank wall with another.

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Bilby's picture

You have a point about the western elevation, but otherwise, the "blank" walls of Shell House to my mind are one of its best features - they are monolithic and sculptural in the best way (particularly the view of the clipped elevation from Spring St.). Some of the best buildings have minimal glazing - at least to some elevations (e.g. Tadao Ando's 1976 Azuma house).

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

You are kidding, right? It is a building that deliberately turned its back on the city rather than integrating with its surrounding environment. If EF designed Shell House you would be howling about how bad walls on boundaries are and their lack of respect for heritage and urban context.

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Bilby's picture

EF are hardly comparable with Ando. But no, I wouldn't - I actually love the "blank wall" that separates Seidler's building from the Lindrum on Flinders Street - its both intimate and epic at the same time.

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Riddlz's picture

So bilby approves of an enormous blank concrete wall against a property boundary with a heritage building next door. I've screenshotted this for future reference. ;)

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Melbourne_Fragments's picture

If EB designed it it would just be a boring blank wall like all their other blank walls, but the architect behind shell house designed it as a sculptural expression

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DesMond's picture

I'm sorry, 'sculptural expression' or not, it's a giant blank wall. I can't help but feel that Shell House is judged not on what it is, but by the name attached to it.

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

Yes some people can be disorientated by the blinding light emitted by powerful starchietcts.

They are so dazzled that they can no longer understand why they used to be opposed to windswept plazas replacing heritage buildings and laneways, exposed lift cores, large overbearing blank walls, inactivated street frontages and pointless sunshades on the southern elevations of buildings.

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Melbourne_Fragments's picture

dont get me wrong Shell House has a lot of negatives to it, but as a standalone building it's impressive, and the stepped laneway to the side is an interesting addition

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Bilby's picture

Yes, I'm not of the view that it was justified to demolished the turreted corner Victorian building that Shell House replaced, but the architectural qualities of Shell House are outstanding in Melbourne - sculptural boundary walls and all. And is Harry Seidler a "starchitect"? That's drawing a long bow, in comparison to internationally famous individuals like Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry or Norman Foster - but ok. It's not a relevant consideration in my evaluation of the merits of the formal qualities of the building, though.

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Dean's picture

'sculptural expression'. defn: 'The term used when all other bullshit fails to suffice.'

As blank walls go it's one of the all-time great..........dissapointments of this city.

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Bilby's picture

Depends what you're talking about - I was referring to the 5 storey wing wall on the boundary, and the rear wall that presents as a massive section cut through the volume.

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Dean's picture

I actually love the "blank wall" that separates Seidler's building from the Lindrum on Flinders Street - its both intimate and epic at the same time.

Oh please enough bullshit. You were refering to the west facing wall that seprates this building from the lindrum not the 5 level wall on the NE corner that has nohting to do with the proposed tower.

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Bilby's picture

Ah, no. Actually I originally said, "You have a point about the western elevation, but otherwise, the "blank" walls of Shell House to my mind are one of its best features - they are monolithic and sculptural in the best way (particularly the view of the clipped elevation from Spring St.)"

You could hardly call the western boundary wall, "...intimate".

And the 5 level wall I was referring to is on the NW corner of the site.

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