Benoy’s Competition Design for Green Tower in Melbourne’s Southbank

4 August 2016

Benoy has shared its competition design for a mixed-use tower development in Melbourne, Australia. Known as ‘Kavanagh Street’, Benoy’s design is a ‘Family of towers’ which unites five buildings with a green strategy for the site.

The competition site is set back along the banks of Melbourne’s Yarra River in the popular Southbank precinct. Overlooking the Central Business District, famous waterway and a host of the city’s landmarks, the competition scheme is given a unique opportunity to add to the growing central skyline of the Victorian capital.

“This was a fantastic opportunity for our team to demonstrate our creative force in Australia. We wanted to use this competition to show our ability in designing integrated environments and sustainable communities; offering vibrant and urban live, work, play solutions for Melbourne,” said Benoy’s Divisional Director and Head of Singapore Studio Terence Seah.

Proposing a full programme of Residential, Hospitality, Commercial and Retail, Benoy’s design is spread across a GFA of 315,000m2. The programme has been distributed over five buildings proposed under a three phase plan. The heights of the towers range from ten to 80 storeys and all sit above a shared nine-storey, mixed-use podium. The tallest tower, at 300m, would make it Melbourne’s highest if completed.

Bringing together corporate offices, lifestyle showrooms, premium high-rise living, a hotel, serviced apartments, shopping, dining, green spaces, facilities and public transportation; the concept creates a vertical urban community.

Benoy’s design developed a ‘Kit of parts’ for the mega-development, with the aim of achieving flexibility to meet the changing market demands. The architecture has taken inspiration from the city’s basalt rock formations, referencing their geological language and modularity to develop a set of interchangeable entities. Each of the towers has been given their own identity and feature sky gardens and winter gardens; introducing a necklace of green vertical spaces which connect to the ground level landscape.

“In Singapore, humanising developments is a real priority and introducing landscape into vertical design is a great way to achieve this. We have taken some of these principles and applied them to the Australian setting; working with the wind and solar paths to make these spaces viable. Our design also connects to the surrounding green areas and integrates with the character of the riverfront to create a strong and green public realm element,” explained Javier de Santiago, Senior Architect at Benoy.

Orienting the buildings to optimise both the sun and wind paths, each of the towers benefit from natural cooling strategies and maximised sunlight. The residential and hotel towers have been positioned to receive the greatest amount of sunlight and wind exposure; positioned in a way to channel the cross-flow wind into the central garden courtyard. The tower positioning and arrayed articulation responds to the main arterial approach and creates a southern gateway into the city.  As a result, the panoramic views of the river and Royal Botanic Gardens are also maximised.

“Our strategy for the competition design was to ensure the development as a whole was greater than the sum of its parts. From the programmes of each of the towers to the natural height reduction in their volumes as they move away from the city; each component has a positive contribution to the other,” said Benoy Architect, Phil Russell.

This is Benoy’s first competition entry in Melbourne. The firm opened its on-the-ground presence in the city last year, establishing a representative office. Since then, Benoy has announced its growing portfolio in the country, confirming two live projects in Western Australia – Mandurah Forum and The Galleria, Perth. Mandurah Forum recently revealed Benoy’s Interior Design Concept as part of its AU$350M redevelopment plans.

Competition Details:

• Developer: PJ Development Holdings Berhad
• Project Location: Melbourne, Australia
• Size (Site Area): 20,000m2
• Size (GFA): 315,000m2


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