The latest prospective Fishermans Bend entrant to be unveiled comes in the form of a peckvonhartel-designed 41 storey apartment tower, with a unique corten steel sculpture worked into the design.
Successfully delivering projects for over 35 years, peckvonhartel are an established Melbourne presence although their forays into high-rise design are few and far between. Subject to their design is the former Laycock Son and Co. woollen mills, otherwise known as Laconia Woollen Mills at 179-185 Normanby Road.
Located within Montague Precinct, the 3,439sqm Laconia Woollen Mills buildings is under the control of Normanby Group Holdings Pty Ltd, who are seeking a tower positioned to the rear of the large site.
Internal areas for the project see the following: one-bedroom apartments range between 50sqm-52sqm, two-bedroom apartments range between 70sqm-94sqm and three-bedroom apartments weigh in at between 84sqm-128sqm.
City of Port Phillip have noted in their preliminary report on the application that the 20% of dwellings are dedicated toward three-bedroom dwellings, which far exceeds Council's preference of at least 10% of apartments contain three bedrooms.
Conversely Council also note that no affordable or social housing is proposed as part of the application. The Fishermans Bend Strategic Framework Plan states that for developments containing 200 or more dwellings, an affordable housing component should be considered.
Internally, peckvonhartel's design features multiple communal facilities which include lounge rooms over level 11, a cinema room, gym, children's playroom and an expansive rooftop area above the Laconia Woollen Mills building.
Externally 179-185 Normanby Road would also see works to the public realm on Doran Street, with road narrowing and the delivery of planters, timber decking areas and timber pergolas.
Most notable is the corten steel sculpture that sits between the existing and proposed buildings, and shapes as a relief from typical Fishermans Bend proposals which see scant few sculptural features design into prospective buildings.
City of Port Phillip have raised concerns that both the sculpture and tower would overwhelm the existing Laconia Woollen Mills building which is subject to a heritage overlay. Also falling foul of City of Port Phillip officers is the proposal's lack of connection between Woodgate Street and Doran Street, inactive podium facing Doran Street and the impractical nature of the public works proposed.
In 179-185 Normanby Road's current form Council officers have recommended that Council advise the Minister that it does not support the application as proposed.