Drawing some inspiration from downtown Melbourne's urban landscaping, UNStudio is proposing two towers “conjoined” by a “Green Spine” for the Beulah Southbank mixed-use tower competition. Collaborating with Cox Architecture of Melbourne, UNStudio is one of the six finalist teams who surely didn't hold back in their proposals, which have included cantilevered “cloud” hotels, propeller-shaped penthouses, and colorful public experience centers. The winning design is expected to be announced on August 8.
UNStudio shared more details about their concept below.
The program of UNStudio's proposal is made up of three main components: office, hotel, and residential. The “Green Spine”, which serves as the integral organizational element of the entire structure, climbs upward as a series of outdoor green spaces along the facades of the two towers.
The towers employ two facade types: the Green Spine Facade and the Glass Facade. “Both facades are subject to an optimized variation of architectural parameters (including depth/overshadowing, screen density and planting types) throughout the building’s levels,” UNStudio says. These parameters “inform the Green Spine facade to assure thermal comfort, air quality and noise absorption. The Glass Facade incorporates equally important measures, like window-to-wall ratios, recessed balconies/windows, and external shading fins to limit heat loss and control solar gain.”
The program accommodates recreation, retail, offices, residential, hotel and exhibition spaces that integrate greenery, public spaces, and culture.
At ground level, the terraced podium and its rooftop park are open not only to the tower's residents, but to visitors as well. The podium includes a marketplace, retail and entertainment, and a BMW experience center. The podium's terraced design also offers platforms for performances and temporary art installations. The rooftop park is framed by tall trees and fern gardens.
“The conceptual greenery of the towers vertically extends the verdant Southbank Boulevard and the nearby Botanical Gardens.” The lower and mid levels of the towers are “draped” with small shrubs, while the higher levels have taller trees.
“The planting absorbs noise and air pollution while tall eucalyptus trees facilitate light,” UNStudio says. “Floors textured with forest ferns provide a cool atmosphere even on hot summer days. The construction of the spine uses natural materials and textures that are native to Australia”.
Moving up to the higher levels, the Green Spine offers break-out spaces and collaboration zones. “The office designs vary from floor to floor to offer flexibility of use. Here the open balconies and gardens of the Spine provide meeting points for collaboration and socializing. Likewise, the hotel and residential components of the tower enjoy access to private, semi-public, or public outdoor green spaces.”
Find more project drawings in the gallery below.
Client: Beulah International (Real Estate Developer)
Location: Melbourne Southbank – 118 City Road
Building surface: 253,485 m2 GFA
Building site: 6.191 m2
Program: Residential, Retail & Food Precinct, Hotel, Cultural Integration, Entertainment, BMW Experience Center, Public Green Space, Discovery Spaces, Offices, Childcare facilities
Status: competition entry
UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos with Jan Schellhoff, Sander Versluis, Milena Stopic and Julia Gottstein, Marco Cimenti, Leon Hansmann, Perrine Planche, Olga Kovrikova, Carleigh Shannon
COX, Melbourne - Executive Architect
Future City, London - Cultural Placemaking
Studio Drift, Amsterdam - Lead Artist
Atelier 10, Melbourne - Sustainability & Well-being
Grant Associates - Landscape Architects
GTA Consultants - Traffic & Accessibility
Arup - Melbourne Engineering
All images courtesy of UNStudio.
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