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Southbank by Beulah: The winning design for Australia's tallest tower revealed

Southbank by Beulah: The winning design for Australia's tallest tower revealed

The long-awaited winning design for the "Southbank by Beulah" design competition has been revealed - The Green Spine - a collaborative effort between UN Studio and COX Architecture.

Set to become Australia’s tallest tower at 356.2m, the winner was announced following an exhaustive six-month global search, which involved six of the world’s best architectural firms; BIG, Coop Himmelb(l)au, MAD Architects, MVRDV, OMA and UN Studio.

All partnered with local firms to propose varying and dramatic designs. UN Studio and COX Architecture's scheme is now likely to head toward planning.

Southbank by Beulah: The winning design for Australia's tallest tower revealed
The Green Spine in the Southbank skyline. Image: UN Studio and COX

Beulah International purchased the 6,061 sqm BMW Southbank site in 2017, with a vision to create an exemplar mixed-use development that would include retail, hotel, residential, commercial, cultural and public spaces of international standard. 

The six shortlisted designs were revealed at the Future Cities Symposium last month, and judged by seven highly regarded jury members including key figures from Australia’s architectural community and chaired by Victorian Government Architect Jill Garner.

To view each of the design entries in greater detail, please click through the links below to their respective articles on Urban.com.au:

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Discussion (7 comments)

theboynoodle's picture

Rohan Leppert has put out a series of tweets critical of how this is being reported and the state governments perceived involvement in a process which has resulted in a proposal that's materially outside the planning scheme applicable for the site... and that approval of the design (or something close) will be a victory for PR and cash over the planning process.

It's hard to argue, but with the caveat that the planning scheme does allow for developments outside it if they are deemed to be of sufficient merit and significance.

The winner was my choice and this would be a real landmark and a visual treat. That counts for something. But the building itself, and use thereof, also needs to deliver significant community benefit. I hope both Beluah and the state government are serious about this. It's a rare site opportunity and unless we want CE-type non-entities to be the norm, we do want developers to have the opportunity to pitch ideas which give more to get more.

George D's picture

STCA, as they say. It's a nice concept, but they'll have to satisfy the relevant authorities.

Nicholas Harrison's picture

I believe that this proposal will result in a far better outcome for Melbourne than if they had of built a couple of bland boxes that fit the restrictive planning controls and got waved through Council.

Isn't this exactly what council wants at the end of the day? World class architecture that gives back to the community and public realm rather than just developers that do the absolute minimum to tick all the boxes?

Also the only major variation required is to the mandatory setback / building envelope requirments which are the. The required setback from a side boundary of 21.6m and 10m from the street frontage is completely excessive and unjustified in this context.

The FAR requirements are reasonable and can take into account public benefits (that should include retention of heritage buildings but that does not apply in this case.). It is the mandatory setback/ building envelope requirements that have significantly reduced development potential in the CBD for little additional benefit.

Anton Lawrence's picture

Couldn't have put it better Nicholas

jesse's picture

I personally liked the BIG design better but lets stop the charades and acknowledge the developers are going to build small overpriced apartments and pretend they are 6 star when really they are just overpriced jail cell. I like the architects and good design but not to just make giant profits for developers who know how to make a good marketing show.

Laurence Dragomir's picture
The apartments would need to comply with the Better Apartment Design Standards.
Chris's picture
Propeller City was the best design in my opinion! The green spine is just another normal box building "with a twist" ha...
I hope the green spine doesn't get built. it takes away from the eureka tower and the 108. Hopefully they reconsider Propeller City. Cool looking building with a really different look. almost reminds me of the marina bay sands in singapore!
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