Lian Beng Group enter Melbourne with 596 St Kilda Road

St Kilda Road will be the setting for the debut of another international developer, with Singaporean outfit Lian Beng Group's intended residential tower now with City of Port Phillip.

Having secured 596 St Kilda Road during 2015 for $25 million, first-time market entrant Lian Beng Group have submitted for approval a residential scheme that further morphs the boulevard into a sought after residential strip. Stepping away somewhat from the premium apartment buyer which has defined St Kilda Road in recent times, the proposal consists predominantly of oversized single bedroom dwellings.

Noted within the town planing submission, project architect Bates Smart references the eclectic nature of Windsor and the youthful aspects of the development, perhaps a reference to the target buyer.

Externally 596 St Kilda Road's 19 levels are defined by 1,150sqm of vertical garden space arranged seemingly draped over the design's exterior; a far cry from the 1940's apartment complex onsite which is set to make way for the tower.

596 St Kilda Road application summary

Aerial render of the tower's green exterior. Planning image: Bates Smart
  • Site offered for sale by CBRE City Sales during 2015
  • Purchased by Lian Beng Group for $25 million
  • Site area: 1,800sqm with two street frontages
  • Proposed 19 level tower at 60 metres
  • 170 dwellings: 95 x 1BR and 75 x 2BR with study options for either
  • 4 level basement containing 162 vehicles and 57 bicycle bays
  • Ground level amenities including 20 metre pool, sauna and gymnasium
  • Total GFA: 21,847sqm
  • Single cafe tenancy at ground level
  • Commissioned public artwork to be determined after discussions with Council

Supplementing the vertical gardens is 892sqm of ground floor green area, with Bates Smart describing the building as living design.

With the tower's projecting planters intended to mirror the gardens of St Kilda Road in a vertical fashion, they are also designed to become an external extension of internal spaces. Bates Smart heavily reference the pavilion throughout their urban context report, essentially created a tower where external spaces are designed to be used as often as possible.

This is achieved by floor to ceiling glazing, extended slabs and operable screens.

Conceived as a series of stacked pavilions, 596 St Kilda Road does carry similar external traits to existing Bates Smart residential projects such as Proximity on Queens and Canberra's Atelier, albeit with the addition of green vertical highlights.

596 St Kilda Road's apartment mix sees 95 single bedroom apartments range in size between 50-62sqm while dual bedrooms range between 77-82sqm.

A garden living exemplar as identified by the architect. Planning image: Bates Smart

St Kilda Road has proven to be fertile grounds for both local and international developers in recent years, as its transformation from commercial enclave to residential boulevard continues.

Asian developers are well represented in the area, with Lian Beng Group merely the latest to cash in upon Melbourne's high density living surge. SP Setia will have Parque St Kilda Road complete soon enough with settlement due by the end of next month, while a handful of other projects are in the pipeline.

412 St Kilda Road is at planning on behalf of Malaysian-based UEM Sunrise while the likes of Wuzhong and Chinese-affiliated Golden Age Group are also active on the strip.

596 St Kilda Road development team

  • Developer: Lian Beng (St Kilda) Pte. Ltd.
  • Architecture and Urban Context Report: Bates Smart
  • Planning: Urbis
  • Traffic Engineering Assessment: GTA
  • Sustainability Management Plan: Norman Disney & Young
  • Waste Management Plan: Leigh Design
  • Landscape Plan: Tract
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