Perri Projects and Woods Bagot seek a new northern CBD focal point

One of Melbourne's diminishing number of larger-scale planning applications has broken cover.

Local developer Perri Projects is seeking to push through a substantial apartment tower on a prominent site at the northern tip of the CBD. 23-29 Victoria Street is currently a service station, but under plans conceived by Woods Bagot a 25 storey predominantly residential would take its place.

The site finds itself in a mixed-use zone with a wide discrepancy of heights on show. Over recent years a high degree of development has taken place immediately south of 23-29 Victoria Street, with dual 38 storey buildings currently at construction.

North-facing apartments within the prospective tower would command imposing views down the Drummond Street axis, with little prospect of being built out. Perhaps this potential selling point along with current market trends has seen the majority of apartments within the proposal holding three bedrooms.

23-29 Victoria Street application summary

23-29 Victoria Street as rendered from Drummond Street. Planning image: Woods Bagot
  • Application lodged June 2017
  • Site area: 894sqm with two street frontages
  • Proposed: 25 storey tower at 86.2m to roof line
  • Apartment mix: 27 x 1BR, 26 x 2BR, 37 x 3BR
  • 2 retail tenancies of 117sqm and 86sqm
  • 539sqm of office accommodation within the podium
  • 79 vehicles and 88 bicycles within 4 basement levels
  • 2 amenities levels: pool, gym, lounge, dining area
  • Estimated development cost: $50 million
  • NSA: 10,400sqm

Speaking the Carlton language

The building speaks two languages, one to its cultural heritage neighbours (both the building and Carlton’s Victorian terrace housing) and another, towards its younger and taller companions for centralised, city living. The geometric facade is conceived as an analogy of Carlton’s architectural typology.

A cascading diagonal motif set at the scale of an apartment integrates the balcony condition into the envelope. A brick podium provides an anchor point whilst subtly referencing its context.

Seeking a new CBD-Carlton nexus. Planning image: Woods Bagot

The tower form along the northern elevation is highly agitated, synonymous with the Carlton verandah depth, however, the south facade is flattened reflecting the city’s restrained geometric qualities.

Urban context Report

Ground plane activation

The application seeks to do its part in overhauling the currently poor street level experience along McKenzie Street.

23-29 Victoria Street's podium toward the west utilises white flemishbond brick, referencing the adjoining Horticultural Hall’s red-brick facades. The balance of the design's ground floor is clear glazed and expressive toward the streetscape, whilst mature trees will sit atop the terraced western podium.

Landscaping plays a key part across the tower's lower levels, with four separate design aspects proposed to enhance the pedestrian network. MacKenzie Street's pavement would be widened in order to introduce planterboxes whilst the MacKenzie and Victoria Street intersection is earmarked for overhaul by way of a pocket urban forest.

A new string of trees to Victoria Street and an upgrade to Bell Place's connectivity are also on the cards as part of the development team's bid to gain approval.

McKenzie Street perspective. Planning image: Woods Bagot

23-29 Victoria Street development team

  • Developer: Perri Projects
  • Architect: Woods Bagot
  • Town Planning: Contour Consultants
  • Landscape Architects: Oculus
  • Heritage Consultant: GJM Heritage
  • Traffic Engineer: GTA
  • Waste Consultant: Leigh Design
  • ESD: Sustainable Development Consultants
  • Acoustic: Acoustic Logic
  • Wind Engineers: MEL Consulting
  • Structural Consultant: Webber
  • Services Consultant: O'Neill Group
  • Building Surveyor: PLP
  • Land Surveyor: Taylors

1 comment

redden's picture

An overhead by GlennWilson and one of mine give some idea of the winners and losers if this goes up.

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