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.
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.
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
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.