Vertical Commercial Village Connects with Heritage: Olderfleet, Melbourne

Session: Track A: Best Tall Building Award: 100-199m, Part 2 & 200-299m, Part 1

Frank LonettiNeil StonellProject image

Frank Lonetti
Development Director, Mirvac Construction

Neil Stonell
Managing Partner, Grimshaw Architects

The 477 Collins Street site in Melbourne’s central business district presented a unique opportunity to create a contemporary commercial development that is integrated with some of the city’s most significant heritage buildings, built in the 1880s. The preexisting buildings occupy the site’s full Collins Street frontage and have been refurbished with the development.. An 82-foot (25-meter) high atrium is situated behind the frontage to connect the heritage fabric with the new commercial tower. At ground level, the arrival through the preexisting Record Chambers building celebrates the transition from street to lobby via a darkened portal that deliberately withholds the scale beyond; a transitory experience meant to instill a sense of awe as one steps into the interstitial space. Once through this vestibule, the light-filled atrium provides legibility of the heritage fabric and grounds the new tower elements to create an exciting juxtaposition.

The tower form is a tenant-focused design that incorporates a vertical village concept, with the tower split into three neighborhoods that provides tenants with a unique identity within the building. Expansive client floors situated between each feature increased floor-to-floor heights and recessed external terraces to enhance the spatial experience while reducing the mass of the tower... Through a side-core arrangement, the tower form maximizes the commercial area beneath the height restriction set by the solar envelope, affording a vibrant workplace precinct. A suite of third spaces, including a wellness center, childcare, dining, retail, business lounge, end-of-trip facilities, free health stations, and co-working spaces add to the urban-community experience.

Olderfleet is the first building in Australia to achieve a Platinum WELL pre-certification for the base building due to its incorporation of numerous health and wellbeing initiatives, including an internal feature staircase to promote active workplaces, improved air quality, health stations for tenants, access to facilities such as childcare and gym, and carefully selected low-VOC interior materials and finishes. The project also targets six-star Green Star, five-star NABERS Energy, and four-star NABERS Water ratings. The conservation and refurbishment of the preexisting heritage buildings also support strategies to reduce carbon emissions.

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