Conceived as part of the Southern Cross Station Masterplan, 699 Bourke Street forms a calm and considered backdrop to the roof of the station while providing a strategic connection between Melbourne’s CBD and Docklands precincts.
The design seeks to help unify the two precincts, delivering a building that not only responds to its urban context, but which also delivers A Grade office space in a newly created Melbourne address and ‘gives back to the city’ via the creation of a new public pedestrian laneway.
A habitable deck between two bridges, the 12-storey workplace provides unprecedented connection to Melbourne’s public transport and commercial hubs with complementary premium end-of-trip facilities comprising more than 275 bicycle racks and 360 lockers. Integrated wayfinding and signage offers the building’s inhabitants real-time information about weather and transport to facilitate their journey to and from the workplace.
Rising 64m above the rail environment, 699 Bourke Street is the first of two buildings to be constructed on the over-rail deck. Developed by Mirvac, the brief for the project initially called for a single commercial over-site building to traverse the length of the rail environment between Bourke Street and Collins Street, in effect creating a new city block within Melbourne’s Docklands precinct. The brief evolved so that the project could be delivered under two separate titles; 699 Bourke Street and 664 Collins Street. These buildings have now been designed to accommodate a single tenant in 699 Bourke Street and multiple tenants in 664 Collins Street with the construction of 664 Collins Street scheduled to commence imminently. Together the buildings form a critical junction between the CBD and Docklands, which is defined in part by the vehicular route of Wurundjeri Way.
The form of 699 Bourke Street provides a connection along this edge via the newly created public laneway which extends from the northern pavilion entry on Bourke Street Pedestrian Bridge to Collins Street at number 664. The pavilion, supported at only two points below, cantilevers off the west side of the deck to identify the entrance and negotiate the eight metre rise to the lobby and laneway.
As a key planning initiative for the project, the laneway provides connection between Bourke Street Bridge and Collins Street. Designed in collaboration with Mirvac, PFL Spaces, Urban Art Projects, ID/Lab and Oculus, the laneway offers an activated space that may be easily adapted for future cultural programmes – a point of difference to the traditional retail podium.
Environmentally sustainable features include an 80,000 litre rainwater catchment system as well as a 90 kW rooftop solar system which generates approximately 110,000 kWh of electricity a year, reducing the building’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 145 tonnes of C02 per annum.
A high-performance glazed façade provides a distinct response to the building’s context. The north façade presents an integrated fixed-louvre screen that maintains views while preventing reflections, mitigating risk to the south-bound train drivers below. Each façade offers optimal daylight and views, with 90% of the office floor situated within 12 metres of the high-performance glazed façade.
The design for 699 Bourke Street delivers beyond the specification for an A Grade office and, through the incorporation of the new public walkway, offers a unique vista of the roofscape of Southern Cross Station with the city skyline as its backdrop, seeking to enhance the public realm in a quintessentially Melbourne way.
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Gross Floor Area: 35,000 m2
Architects: Grimshaw Architects
Design Team: Neil Stonell (Partner in Charge), Matthew Holloway (Project Director), Damon Van Horne (Associate/Project Architect), Paul Quang, Rebecca Walsh, Gilbert Yeong, Tam Dao, Greg Pitts, Dean Dyson, Michael Chadwick, Cameron Conwell
Structural: WSP/Winward Structures
Technical Systems: CJ Arms
Acoustics: Acoustic Logic Consultancy
Precast Concrete: Advanced Precast
Glass: IBP Lamberts
Photography: © John Gollings
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