Progress is moving ahead on schedule on Collins Street's $1.25 billion “Pantscraper” development, which is slated for completion in late 2019.
Construction on Cbus Property's 447 Collins Street — more commonly known as Collins Arch — kicked off mid last year and is on track to meet its projected timeline for completion.
A major drawcard for local government in approving Collins Arch was the allocation of half of the site to public amenity.
An inclusion within Collins Arch is the 1,900sq m Market Street public park, Melbourne’s first park in 40 years.
The 1,900sq m public park comprises City of Melbourne land and a portion of land contributed by Cbus and ISPT.
Cbus Property and ISPT are contributing to the development of the park, which will be vested back to the City of Melbourne for public use and management.
To successfully arrange such a unique development mix of 184 apartments, a five-star hotel, 49,477sq m of office and 950sq m of retail around the public ground plane they used “vertical stacking”, Woods Bagot project principal Kate Frear explains.
“We’ve optimised each floor plate and each typology to emancipate half of the site back to the city as public open space,” Frear said.
“Through a huge engineering feat, we’ve unified the program which ties the whole scheme together and enables all-important sunlight to reach deeply into the site and into the building.”
According to Frear, the public realm on ground level has played a pivotal part in dictating how people move throughout the building.
“The building program at ground level completely informs what happens above,” she said.
“We’re finding on the large scale developments that the public realm is really what begins organising, how the developments sells and how it starts to formulate itself," Sharples told The Urban Developer.
“In cities today, we’re finding not only in New York but across Europe in particular and Australia the public domain is something that city officials are looking to expand upon.
“Instead of looking at that as a liability, we said that’s an asset and the client absolutely agreed,” he said.
Collins Arch will occupy an entire city block in Melbourne’s central business district and the architect's hope the project will demonstrate how an under-utilised part of the city can be transformed into an internationally recognised 24-hour precinct.
“Collins Arch will help complete the transformation of the surrounding area into a vibrant urban community, further contributing to the city’s world-class image,” Sharples said.
Collins Arch is on track for completion in late 2019.