Biding time > 15-87 Gladstone Street, South Melbourne

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Biding time > 15-87 Gladstone Street, South Melbourne

Since being submitted nigh on one year ago, MAB Corporation's planning application for a prime piece of Fishermans Bend land has sat idle at the desks of State planning body DTPLI. As with all Fishermans Bend planning applications, no final decisions will be handed down until a point where a final Structure Plan for the urban renewal area is delivered by the State Government.

Not that MAB Corporation would necessarily be concerned by the delay as the Melbourne-based developer has held the land parcel in question for some years. Developing the low-rise Industry Business Hub at the western edge of 15-87 Gladstone Street prior to the announcement of rezoning, MAB Corporation subsequently enlisted prolific architecture form Hayball to take the lead in conceiving a staged, three tower residential scheme as seen below.

Biding time > 15-87 Gladstone Street, South Melbourne

Development Summary

15-87 Gladstone Street, South Melbourne

  • Towers @ 29 levels/93m, 25 levels/81m, 26 levels/81m
  • Site: approximately 140m x 40m and 5984 sq.m
  • Apartments: 733 (1/1+study/2/3 bed options)
  • Retail: 427 sq.m
  • Cars: 579 & motorcycles - 6
  • Bicycles: 225

Diversity of design

According to Hayball's urban context report, three distinct tower designs have been created:

  • The fluid metallic form of the CITY TOWER reflects its significant location at the city end of the project and adjacent to the major infrastructural entities to the north.
  • The CENTRE TOWER sits at the mid point of the site – horizontal and folded spandrels using palette of reflective materials, respond to its contextual role as a connecting element.
  • The PORT TOWER is a more robust composition of stacking elements with colour and intricacy relating to the strong metaphor of port activity.

While the three towers forms offer visually different outcomes, "The PODIUM edge offers the greatest opportunity to instill a sense of richness and diversity into people’s experience of the project. Care has been taken to deliver the maximum sculptural and activation potential at ground level."

Oculus deliver

Biding time > 15-87 Gladstone Street, South Melbourne

Landscape design team Oculus have delivered a grand public/private interface at street level. "The selection of materials, the incorporation of trees and vegetation and the maintainability of the landscape all impact on the perception of a project and its wider site, helping to establish value, a local identity and to foster civic pride." The indicative renders (see link at bottom of page) show a malleable, green and interactive environment fronting public areas - just as anticipated in early visions for the precinct.

Via the landscape proposal, Oculus seek to:

  • Establish a hierarchy of green spaces adjacent to living spaces providing a diverse range of uses, microclimates and rooms
  • Establish a clear network of paths connecting existing streets to residential dwellings
  • Emphasise green pattern and hierarchy through the intense planting of trees and shrubs and retention of existing street trees in road reserves at the edge of the site
  • Create a series of vistas to capture internal and external views
  • Use landscape elegantly to create identity and maximise amenity for new and existing users
  • Ensure that circulation is permeable and accessible to all by creating safe and convenient access between key destinations
  • Provide a diverse planting palette between indigenous species contrasting with exotic species
  • Establish ample opportunities for various outdoor activities on the podium level
  • Ensure consistent palette of landscape elements that are deployed throughout the development to create a sense of identity, cohesion and place with the existing character of Gladstone Street.


"Both the sub-precinct ‘3 sites master plan’ and detailed design for the Gladstone St site have been developed with extensive consultation between the consultant team and DPCD (DTPLI), Places Victoria and City of Port Phillip." If this does not evoke a WTF moment regarding Fishermans Bend's progression I'm not sure what does!

After reading multiple other applications for Fishermans Bend it is somewhat bewildering that developers can prepare plans after consulting with relevant planning bodies only to have those plans shelved for an extended period of time. Perhaps a lesson for future Melbourne urban renewal projects - consult thoroughly, prepare a credible structure plan and only then allow the planning applications to flow.

Regardless an election year is afoot and there's no doubt an announcement regarding Fishermans Bend is imminent. Could there be a dual announcement finalising a Fishermans Bend Structure Plan while also heralding the approval of a select cluster of current planning applications (including 15-87 Gladstone Street) akin to 'Super Tuesday' earlier in 2014. If only I were a gambling man...

Development Team

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