In the truest sense it may not be a skyscraper yet a revised proposal located at 696-708 Elizabeth Street most definitely fulfills the 'squeezy' criteria.
Previously covered by Urban Melbourne in its initial guise, the proposed residential building was and remains remarkable for its proximity to a neighbouring residential building currently under construction. Whilst the initial version fell short of both Council and VCAT's expectations, a revised design by ARM Architecture is seeking planning approval.
Located on a gateway site fronting Haymarket roundabout with sight lines directly down Flemington Road, ARM Architecture's response to the initial ruling has been to refine the building's exterior with the intention of creating a landmark project.
In its ruling on the initial design which was submitted during September 2014 for prospective developer Jobs Australia Pty Ltd, VCAT did leave the door ajar for site development acknowledging 696-708 Elizabeth Street as “a unique opportunity to make a valuable contribution to one of Melbourne’s gateways, building on the role played by the heritage building and the emerging built form character.”
According to VCAT two key factors led to the rejection of the application:
Conversely, VCAT in its ruling made reference to the growing number of projects within the ‘City North’ precinct, citing 696-708 Elizabeth Street as a site capable of development whilst enhancing the heritage elements of the current structure onsite.
With a revised planning application currently under consideration, projects highlights as defined within planning documents include:
Externally the building would see a metal diagrid weave employed over a curved tower form, designed to mimic the form of the nearby Haymarket roundabout.
Revised plans for the project have sought to better amplify the presence of the existing Commercial Bank of Australia heritage building relative to the initial development proposal.
A more pronounced difference between the existing and proposed built form appears by way of an apron set above the existing building. The form of the proposed tower is also setback further in order to aid in visual separation.
"The proposal seeks to reinforce the prominence of this 19th century corner building which is an important part of the overall design response. The design has sought to locate the residential lobby towards Elizabeth Street, effectively opening up the building to this main street and surrounding public spaces."
Along with a revised tower shape and external appearance, the development team hopes to gain a different planning outcome on their second attempt.