The beginning of the end: No.1 Collins Wharf

Submitted to town planning last year Lend Lease's new 29-storey, $106 million residential development will comprise 321 apartments, 290 car parks, 312 bike spaces and 68 square metres of ground floor retail space.

Designed by Bates Smart, the 90 metre tower was considered by Council's Future Melbourne(Planning) Committee which resolved to support the proposal. With frontages to Collins Street, the proposed Bourke Dock public space and the Yarra, Council have urged Lend Lease to increase the amount of retail space to these key interfaces.

The predominantly residential building (one ground floor retail tenancy) is contrary to the Development Plan which contemplated human services/mixed use at its interface with Bourke Dock; retail along Collins Street and commercial uses along the Yarra River interface.

The wintergarden on the shorter Collins Street/Buluk Park alignment is inactive. These departures from the use create a solely residential building with portions of inactive frontages to the public realm, rather than a mixed use building.

Future Committee Report
No.1 Collins Wharf in context. Image courtesy Aspect + Oculus

Located within the Victoria Harbour Precinct at the junction of Bourke and Collins Streets, No.1 Collins Wharf marks the first stage of Wharf Quarter and acts as the gateway to the Collins Wharf precinct of the peninsula. Comprising five residential towers accommodating approximately 1,500 dwellings and a number of parks and boutique offices, Collins Wharf will be built atop a finger wharf extending out into Victoria Harbour and the Yarra River.

After the best part of 15 years at construction, Collins Wharf forms the final stage of Lend Lease's Victoria Harbour Precinct.

Artist's impression of Collins Wharf. Image courtesy of Collins Wharf Development Plan.

The 24-storey (72 metre) tower sits atop a 5-storey (18 metre) high podium which contains parking and a wrap of apartments - traditional and SOHO - to key interfaces across all levels. The ground floor accommodates resident lobby and facilities plus a 68m2 retail tenancy.

The large podium is expressed as smaller elements within, reading as a number of taller townhouses rather than a slab of a building. The podium is generally constructed to all site boundaries, with the exception of an approximately four metre setback from the north (Collins Street), increasing to approximately 5.7 metres at level three and 11.3 metres at level four.

The tower is a tall slender form which has generous setbacks to the north and south and also from the future development site to to the west. It breaks through the podium, interrupting the rhythm of the podium and addressing Bourke Dock while creating a sense of entry into the building. This design move was criticised by Council's urban design team:

The Collins Street building alignment does not make a positive address on the short Collins Street / Buluk Park alignment by not being built on the boundary and not being orientated to the street and Buluk Park. The tower form meets at the junction of Collins Street and Bourke Dock, resulting in an oblique alignment.

The tower will appear as a side “end” of a tower, not a front “face”, and does not positively address Collins Street and Buluk Park.

No.1 Collins Wharf is expressed as two slender, sleek rectilinear volumes offset from one another with a strong vertical articulation that is juxtaposed with occasional expression of horizontal terraces and recessed balconies. Each of these volumes also has setbacks, occurring at levels 12 and 16 respectively resulting in a somewhat animated tower form that appears as two volumes in motion both vertically and horizontally with the east facade, creating "a measurable backdrop to the civic space of Buluk Park and announces the start of the Collins Wharf Precinct."

No.1 Collins Wharf hero perspective. Image courtesy Lend Lease

In addition to No.1 Collins Wharf, a 5.5 metre wide public promenade separated from the southern edge of the building by a 5.7 metre wide passage of water is proposed. To be known as Yarra Walk, the promenade would be a shared zone for cyclists and pedestrians and also provide access for small service vehicles.

By the numbers

  • Total number of dwellings: 321 in townhouse style dwellings, apartments and SOHO’s
    • One bedroom: 90
    • Two bedroom: 201
    • Three bedroom: 30
  • Ground level retail: 68m2 Leasable Floor Area
  • Overall Building Height: 90.22m / Podium Height: 18.53m
  • North (Collins Street): 13.5m / South (Yarra River): 21.5m / West (Dock Lane East): 13.3m / East: varying, increasing as the building height increases
  • GFA: 44,119m2
  • Car parking spaces: 290 / Motorcycle spaces: 16
  • Bicycle spaces: Total 312 / resident bicycles overbonnet: 201 / resident bicycles communal: 85 / visitor bicycles: 26

While 1 Collins Wharf is now selling, the entire Collins Wharf development is expected to be completed within 10 years.

My Real Estate Mate logo

Development & Planning

Monday, October 24, 2016 - 07:31
A trio of apartment projects are before City of Melbourne, all seeking the right to add to the inner north's apartment stock. Lodged during September, the trio are also looking to bring a heightened design perspective to their surrounds. First up and Piccolo Developments are seeking another statement project, with...

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 14:30
On Monday 24th of October, the iCities: World Class CBDs series conference kicks off. First held in Kuala Lumpur, this year's conference is to be held at the Langham Hotel on Southbank. iCities is owned and operated by iProperty Group, a network property under the REA Group umbrella brand. Over...


Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 17:00
Melbourne’s architectural landscape is a wonderful juxtaposition of modern and Victorian architecture. Although the CBD has been peppered with many skyscrapers, its historical structures have won Melbourne the title of “Australia’s most European city”. Perhaps the most striking example of this juxtaposition between old and new is the Coops Shot...

Transport & Design

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 07:00
108 Leicester Street is a collection of eight multi-level Fitzroy townhouses that have been designed to respond to the changing face of multi-residential living in Melbourne. The hybrid inner-city dwellings combine developer/builder FOURSQ with Melbourne firm BKK Architects. The design acknowledges the housing typologies of the development's Fitzroy neighbourhood with...

Sustainability & Environment

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 00:00
The proposed new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) on Sturt Street is shaping to become much more than a cutting edge venue. While the project has been given coverage to date across a range of mediums, very little has been said regarding the project playing an integral part in the...