In a previous life this development site held by MAB Corporation was known as 443-451 Docklands Drive. Now with approval in tow, 6-22 Pearl River Road has been placed on the market via an Expressions of Interest campaign run by CBRE. Occupying a waterfront position with views that cannot be built out over 43 residential levels, 6-22 Pearl River Road would become the tallest building in Newquay and Docklands for that matter, if built. Bearing the above in mind, Urban Melbourne thought it an opportune time to delve deeper into this proposal.
Conceived by DKO Architecture the tower would replace what is now an open air carpark which formed part of ING's Waterfront City. Subsequently purchased by MAB Corporation, the scheme was submitted to DPCD during 2012 and received planning approval a period of time later.
Viewed as one tower, the complex is notionally split in two with Tower A referring to the northern 16 level building while Tower B would involve the southern, 43 level splayed building. Together these buildings would accommodate 425 apartments with options ranging from townhouses and 1 Bedroom through to 4 Bedroom dwellings. 452 car spaces and 128 bicycle spaces would be held through the podium, with the bulk of the building's street level frontages activated. Below left shows the ground floor layout, pink and blue indicating residential/communal spaces, yellow and orange showing parking facilities while 'E' indicates four separate entry points for residents.
Shaded green above, a naturally ventilated east-west laneway would provide a direct link between the retail and entertainment offerings of Waterfront City Piazza and the high-end lowrise townhouses located west of 6-22 Pearl River Road. Also shown above, a weatherproof atrium would stream natural light to the laneway while an overhung pool/gym complex and multiple ground level art installations provide visual stimulus. Subject to further consultation and a street art strategy, the lobby of Tower B has the potential to yield a significant large-scale art piece while being part of the overall Newquay Central art and laneway strategy. (Further images in forum thread)
In terms of building finishes, timber and lighter colour materials feature heavily over lower floors in order to soften the interaction between building and street level/pedestrians. White integral colour precast panels in a seemingly trademark DKO Architecture pattern will feature heavily over the northern tower podium, providing absolute contrast to the uniform glaze over the higher levels of both towers. The taller Tower A calls for a tri-colour scheme, they being light, dark and super grey glazing.
With an offset incorporated midway through the tower, 6-22 Pearl River Road certainly has the potential to become a landmark building on Melbourne's skyline. All that's been written to this point suggests a highly acceptible design and urban outcome should this tower be built. But what of developers running their ruler over this development site prior to Expressions of Interest closing? Without labouring the point, given the site's prime position, exceptional potential views and Docklands history of strong apartment sales, 6-22 Pearl River Road will no doubt land a new owner in due course.
All images above © DKO Architecture