Cut down: A Franklin Street planning relic comes down to earth

Cut down: A Franklin Street planning relic comes down to earth
Cut down: A Franklin Street planning relic comes down to earth

Relic in the sense that 96-102 Franklin Street was an application that dated back prior to the implementation of current planning laws which dictate the shape and feel of inner Melbourne's built form.

The Franklin Street application had originally reached planning during 2015, under the tenure of the previous Minister for Planning. Sought then was a slimline residential tower designed by Plus Architecture for residential developer Burbank.

Plus Architecture's interpretation consisted of a 177 metre, or 57 storey tower. Included were 270 dwellings set closely behind the existing building's historic facade.

Cut down: A Franklin Street planning relic comes down to earth
Plus Architecture's Franklin Street proposal is consigned to history

Mirroring the sentiment at the time toward planning and development, particularly in the norther reaches of Melbourne's CBD, Burbank's application looked to maximise the built form onsite.

Akin to other projects that have transitioned through the period of planning law upheaval, 96-102 Franklin Street has been redesigned to a point where a planning permit was granted for a considerably altered tower form. Burbank have chosen to further amend the design of the site to a point where Melbourne City Council will preside of the fate of the current application.

The amended tower is less than 25,000 square metres and therefore Melbourne City Council will determine whether the latest Peddle Thorp-designed version will grace Melbourne's skyline. Peddle Thorp was also responsible for the design of Burbank's high density Mosaic Living project in Dandenong.

96-102 Franklin Street in its shortened form is now expected to include 26 offices tenancies across floors one to nine, with the balance of the 22 storey tower including 72 apartments.

Cut down: A Franklin Street planning relic comes down to earth
The comparatively modest Peddle Thorp-designed tower in situ

In addition to its vastly abbreviated height, the tower setback to the street has been expanded to 12 metres, allowing for the retention of both facade and interiors of the existing building to that depth. Serving as Burbank's CBD presence for many a year, the revised application also intends to remove the 'Burbank House' signage from the exterior.

Although Burbank may not be lost to the site. A 587 square metre commercial design studio and associated courtyard is designed into the ground floor; this will likely allow the current Burbank Edge Studio to remain onsite post development.

96-102 Franklin Street's pending final outcome effectively removes it from a dwindling list of planning applications predating the current planning law era that are still seeking resolution. Most notable are 139-141 Franklin Street and Southbank's 158 City Road which are both at appeal.

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a co-founder of He passed away on Thursday 8th of November 2018 after a battle with cancer. He was 37. Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer. One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades. In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.

Apartments Policy Peddle Thorp Burbank Planning

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?