Zaha Hadid’s first Melbourne Tower

Zaha Hadid Architects & Plus Architecture
582 – 606 Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia

In early 2016, the Victorian Government approved a $300-million tower designed by Zaha Hadid and Plus Architecture. Located on the western frontier of Melbourne’s CBD, the structure will evolve the city’s distinct urban fabrication as it takes form in smaller stacked ‘vases’ to establish the building’s overall volume. Central to the conceptual framework for the design of the building, is the vertical volumes that have been fragmented in order to establish a reasoned relationship between the structure, platform and surrounding.

In more detail, each ‘vase’ narrows and leans inwards to offer communal space at the base of the building. This not only invites interaction on the street level but continues smoothly inside the building (where it will host retail and commercial spaces), to promote public engagement. A large portion of the ground levels is dedicated to the public domain with external areas and new plazas. With this kind of design, the flow of pedestrian and traffic will increase.

The series of sculptural columns that surround the volume is uniform on all sides of the facade. It has been designed in a manner that references and echoes the historical architecture of Melbourne.

A delicate lattice envelops the entire building, including the Francis Street service sections to ensure that the sense of “back of house” does not exist. The building has been conceptualised with 50 per-cent energy than a standard mixed-use commercial tower. The latticework contributes to the reduction of direct sunlight (solar gain) and emissions. A combination of  high performance glazing systems, high efficiency central cooling, high regulation of lighting and water re-using systems will all be incorporated and will further reduce consumption of resources and emissions.

“This stand-out design will enhance the city’s skyline… The late Zaha Hadid has been described as a starchitect [and] Melbourne will now have a piece of her artistic flare.”
– Acting Minister for Planning; Jill Hennessy

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