Crown's Queensbridge Tower a step closer to fruition

Crown's Queensbridge Tower a step closer to fruition
Alastair TaylorOctober 19, 2015

On Monday we learned Crown Resorts in conjunction with their joint venture partner Schiavello, had selected UK architecture firm WilkinsonEyre as the winner of a competition to redesign what has become known as Queensbridge Tower site on Southbank.

Long time readers may recall this project has grown since its original planning application in May 2013, initially limited to the old Queens Bridge Hotel site and neighbouring properties.

Over time the initial Bates Smart design was altered as more neighbouring properties were acquired, culminating in an enhanced design adding a greater distance between the proposed tower and 1 Freshwater Place. A pedestrian airbridge linking the site with Crown Casino was also included.

Usually with a marquee project such as this being unveiled, we would be quoting numbers from a planning application. Not so in this case, as plans for the new design have not yet been lodged.

It is with this in mind we remain cautious when talking about certain particulars of the project.

Crown's Queensbridge Tower a step closer to fruition
Queensbridge Tower from the Yarra's north bank

A source close to the project was understandably sensitive about producing information we would like to have - for instance, elevation diagrams which can confirm exact dimensions and components of the building - and reiterated a point broadcast on ABC Radio that the amended planning application would be lodged within four weeks.

When quizzed about the overall height, we were told to defer to figures outlined in the Herald Sun: 317 metres.

However there is a general caveat in all of this: news coverage generated yesterday came from a Media/ASX release, not a planning application, and the statistics which currently reside in our listing of Queensbridge Tower may change if the planning application ends up showing different numbers to what has been reported.

We have learned two things not contained in the media release:

  1. Architectus were appointed executive architects to coordinate the ground work in Melbourne with WilkinsonEyre.
  2. The project will buck a notable trend in similar large-scale projects in Melbourne of late: marketing for the project will only begin once an outcome has been received from the Planning Minister.

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

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