Southbank by Beulah: BIG & FK - The Lanescraper

Laurence DragomirAugust 3, 20180 min read

As the announcement of the winning design in the "Southbank by Beulah" design competition draws closer, is continuing its series looking at each entry, and today it's BIG and Fender Katsalidis turn with the aptly names 'Lanescraper'.

The design of the Lanescraper has been conceived as an evolution of the skyscraper beyond the notion of simply a vertical village by imbuing it with a local context and something uniquely Melburnian.

According to the design team, the high aspect ratio of the site indicated a dual core strategy would provide the greatest efficiency in terms of layout and reduce travel distances from the core to apartments - particularly at the upper floors.

The other benefit of splitting the cores is the opportunity for a finer-grained vertical subdivision of the programme, creating new possibilities for programmatic relationships within a single tower.

Southbank by Beulah: BIG & FK - The Lanescraper
The Lanescraper takes the idea of a vertical village one step further. Image: BIG + FK

Our proposal is borne from a series of pragmatic responses to programmatic needs and constraints of context – and the opportunity to give form to a potential game changing building and experience in Southbank. We propose architecture as social infrastructure, a framework for the life and experiences that happen within and without.

- Bjarke Ingels, BIG

The stacked blocks between the cores extend upwards and interlock to provide connectivity and structural rigidity, while allowing for shared spaces and relationships between various programmes. The result is a built form which appears as a zipper of diverse programmatic functions that setback from Southbank Boulevard and Power Street.

The tower tapers inwards and negotiates the space between the surrounding buildings, minimising adjacencies at the top and overshadowing of the public realm below.

As the name suggests, a series of laneways are distributed up the building between the two cores, each with a unique identity and experience based on its specific role and function, providing a continuous three-dimensional promenade of interconnected and multi-tiered public and social spaces for exploration and discovery.

The Lanescraper has been designed based on BIG & FK's desire an architectural outcome that provides social infrastructure to the city both within the building and without.  

Southbank by Beulah: BIG & FK - The Lanescraper
The Lanescraper along the City Road streetscape. Image: BIG + FK


  • Value: AUD 2 billion
  • GFA/ Area: 238,000 sqm
  • Height: 356m


  • Jan Gehl
  • ARUP
  • GTA Consultants
  • Bloomimages
  • Brick Visual

The winning design for the “Southbank by Beulah” competition will be announced on August 8th, 2018.

BIG & Fender Katsalidis, 'The Lanescraper', Southbank, Melbourne from BIG on Vimeo.

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.
Bjarke Ingels
Fender Katsalidis
Southbank by Beulah
Future Cities Symposium
118 City Road
Beulah International
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