Momentous designs, both gained and lost in the space of a week

Momentous designs, both gained and lost in the space of a week
Mark BaljakJuly 11, 2016

It's the stuff of roosters and feather dusters over the course of the last week. While the western end of Melbourne's CBD will be graced by a building unlike any other in Melbourne, Spring Street is set to receive a tower at the opposite end of the design scale.

As has been widely reported a new $300 million tower designed by international architecture firm Zaha Hadid Architects has been given final approval by the Victorian Government. Expected within developer Landream's 54 level tower, which weighs in at 176 metres, are 420 dwellings and in excess of 10,000sqm of office and retail space.

Designed in conjunction with Plus Architecture, the base of the tower at 582-606 Collins Street will also include ground floor art space, a public plaza to Collins Street and a new pedestrian link and a publicly accessible terrace.

Momentous designs, both gained and lost in the space of a week
582-606 Collins Street. Image: Zaha Hadid Architects

This stand-out design will enhance the city’s skyline, deliver jobs during construction and additional housing for people wanting to live in the CBD.

The late Zaha Hadid has been described as an a starchitect, Melbourne will now have a piece of her artistic flare and I look forward to seeing it come together and provide new public space in the city.

Jill Hennessy, Acting Minister for Planning

Working in close collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects, Plus Architecture is deeply privileged to be a part of the team bringing Dame Zaha Hadid’s inspiring design to the Melbourne skyline with the project set to be a monumental part of our city’s urban fabric and architectural narrative.

Jess Liew, Director, Plus Architecture (local architects on record)

To 85 Spring Street now where revised images of Grocon's intended apartment development have appeared over online sales portals.

After much wrangling between the development team and the State planning department, a revised scheme of considerable design merit won approval during 2015 . Fast forward and gone is Denton Corker Marshall's design of note, replaced with a pared-down 39 level edifice.

The current version, seen below right, loses much of its architectural expression and appears externally to be little more than a generic design that smacks of value management.

Unfortunately, it also happens to be in a premier CBD location.

Momentous designs, both gained and lost in the space of a week
85 Spring Street, old and new. Images: ArchitectureAU &

And finally to a design spotted on's forum this week of a concept as seen below for Landream by Zaha Hadid Architects once more. covered the story one year ago regarding Landream approaching CASA to initiate discussion on a possible tower for 254-260 La Trobe Street. The tower which was tall enough to challenge the PANS-OPS ceiling would have been of a similar height to the adjoining Aurora Melbourne Central that is now under construction.

The spectacular design that would now not adhere to the interim and soon permanent planning controls, may well be consigned to the history books.

Nonetheless a truly impressive design.

Momentous designs, both gained and lost in the space of a week
Zaha Hadid Architects' take on 260 La Trobe Street.

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.

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