Plus Architecture's shimmering Burbank House proposal revealed

Plus Architecture's shimmering Burbank House proposal revealed
Plus Architecture's shimmering Burbank House proposal revealed

Plus Architecture have unveiled another of their burgeoning portfolio of current projects by way of a new 57 level residential tower in the northern reaches of Melbourne's CBD. Developer Burbank Australia is seeking approval for the residential conversion of 96-102 Franklin Street which has acted as its inner city office for some years.

Burbank House as it's known is no stranger to proposed development with Burbank Australia gaining approval during 2002 for a residential conversion of the existing building into an 11 level complex holding 95 apartments. Prior to this a permit was also issued for a 25 level residential tower onsite.

It is in part a reflection of Melbourne's shift toward high-rise living that the current Plus Architecture-led planning application lodged during December 2015 is by far and away the largest proposal that the site has accommodated.

Plus Architecture's shimmering Burbank House proposal revealed
Burbank House as it currently stands

Reaching 177 metres, the 57 level building will hold a total of 270 apartments split between a number of living options. 10 heritage apartments are designed into the tower's lower levels with 129 one bedroom, 109 two bedroom and 22 three bedroom/penthouses skyhomes rounding out the tower.

186 bicycle spaces and 86 vehicle bays have also been included, with a regeneration of the existing Franklin Street facade also expected. The following description of the tower was provided:

The focus is on community and communal spaces with an artisan workshop and artisan heritage apartments within the podium. The building also consist of a dining/master kitchen area with a mezzanine lounge, 2 storey residents library and games room, yoga room, herb garden and pool.

The façade is inspired by crystalline structures. Each crystal module on the building is sized to reflect the internal programme behind. The overall language is both unifying and personalised.

The context is multiplied and refracted in the angular glass façade creating a kaleidoscope reflecting the multiplicity of the city surrounds.

Plus Architecture
Plus Architecture's shimmering Burbank House proposal revealed
Hero perspective of the development. Image courtesy Plus Architecture

When placed in context, 96-102 Franklin Street would almost be lost in the upcoming crop of tall residential towers in the surrounding area. Earlier this month Urban Melbourne published an updated model of the CBD's north end illustrating no less than 9 residential towers in the surrounding blocks ranging from planning to construction that are in excess of 200 metres.

With the addition of 97 Franklin Street and Swanston Central atop the former CUB site this number swells to 11 towers.

While 96-102 Franklin Street sits on the periphery of this cluster, the forthcoming 200 metre tower expected for Victoria Market's Munro site will share the same block as Plus Architecture Franklin Street design, further adding to the tremendous bulk this pocket of Melbourne's CBD is experiencing.

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak

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Comments (17)

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Ian Briggs's picture
Thanks Symlb Bilby, we are aiming to retain all the cast iron cols. When we inspected the roof space we discovered any existing structure that might have been there had been replaced and it's not a pretty sight! The tower comes to ground behind the retained heritage built form.
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Adam Ford's picture
And thanks Ian Briggs for engaging on the issue. And we certainly applaud the intention to retain interior elements and integrity. I was wondering if someone might be available to brief Melbourne Heritage Action on the plans? Or at least send us something? [email protected] Many thanks.
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bilby
Does this mean, Ian, that there will be structural members running through the front third of the site (i.e. the retained heritage building) - otherwise it would be possible to retain all the cast iron columns internally? Also does any of the original trussed roof remain?
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Ian Briggs's picture
The tower language is one that both unifies but also breaks down to reflect (NPI) the large variety of individual dwelling types, sizes and community spaces within. Yes, it’s a glass tower, but with grain and individualism rather than a continuous curtain glass wall. The tower interfaces with the existing heritage building via a timber punctuation that has a direct dialogue with Fulton Lane opposite with its timber planters that articulate its façade. The Heritage building is shallow, approx. 1/3 of the site, the remainder is recent additions. We are retaining the existing floor levels and as much of the existing internal cast iron columns as possible. Hope this helps the discussion..
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SYmlb
Thanks for some clarification, Ian. So the original part of Burbank will be retained while the newer extensions are demolished? This seems like a fair trade off in my mind. You can see a big setback from the street in that render so it's good to see that occur. You can't blame a lot of us being skeptical considering some other developments in the past. I would still like to see the site plans before passing final judgement but this looks like a quality project. Best of luck with it.
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