Southbank by Beulah designs revealed at Future Cities Symposium

Southbank by Beulah designs revealed at Future Cities Symposium
Laurence DragomirJuly 26, 2018

With its Southbank by Beulah ‘Future Cities’ Symposium sold out to a 1,000 strong crowd, Beulah International handed over the stage to the 6 competing architectural teams to reveal their design responses for the 118 City Road site.

Working to a maximum height of 360m above street level and accommodating a GFA of in excess of 250,000 sqm, each of the teams took a unique approach to site reflecting on its position adjacent to the soon to be greened Southbank Boulevard which links the Royal Botanical Gardens to Southbank's promenade and the river beyond.

The teams initially pitched their respective designs for the site to Beulah International across two days at the recently installed Beulah Pavilion situated at Queensbridge Square, Southbank.

Designed by Samson Tiew from One Design Office, the pavilion will act as an exhibition space for all of the design entries now that they have been publicly revealed.

Southbank by Beulah designs revealed at Future Cities Symposium
Samson Tiew's pop-up pavilion for Beulah International. Image: Beulah

Below is a summary of each of the designs;

BIG + FK - 'The Lanescraper'

Southbank by Beulah designs revealed at Future Cities Symposium
The Lanescraper by BIG + FKA. Images: BIG

Celebrating Melbourne's laneways, 'The Lanescraper' introduces a series of laneways rising up the height of the tower providing spaces for various programmatic uses and assisting in reducing the visual mass while also providing areas of respite.

COOP HIMMELB(L)AU + architectus - 'The Propeller City'

Southbank by Beulah designs revealed at Future Cities Symposium
COOP Himmelb(l)au + Architectus' The Propeller City. Images: COOP Himmelb(l)au

The Propeller City concept is named so because of its propeller-like element which crowns the building and can be programmed as penthouses, or potentially a restaurant or function space.

At ground level on the corner of Southbank Boulevard and City Road's the BMW Experience centre draws on COOP Himmelb(l)au's BMW Welt in Munich as an invitation for the public to enter and explore the building.

MAD Architects + elenberg fraser - 'The Urban Tree'

Southbank by Beulah designs revealed at Future Cities Symposium
The Urban Tree by MAD Architects + Elenberg Fraser. Image: MAD Architects

Defying the typical glass, box-like buildings of Melbourne that appear detached from the city’s historic parks and natural local terrain, MAD’s organic design introduces a silhouette of natural forms – mountain, tree, cloud – into the dense city center, offering a distinct and iconic scheme for the skyline, that reconnects citizens with nature.

The pinnacle of the design is ‘the cloud’ – a cantilevered structure that houses the public amenities for the hotel (lobby, restaurant, bar, and observation deck), and offers 360° views of Melbourne. 

- MAD Architects


MVRDV + Woods Bagot - 'The Stack'

Southbank by Beulah designs revealed at Future Cities Symposium
The Stack by MVRDV + Woods Bagot. Image: Woods Bagot

MVRDV and Woods Bagot have proposed a “new kind of skyscraper” for a landmark mixed-use site in Melbourne’s Southbank. The Stack is one of six invited entries in an architectural competition organised by the site’s owners Beulah International, a Melbourne-based developer known for its commitment to excellence in local design.

Eschewing Southbank’s typical model of podium and tower – a typology that has always promised but seldom delivered – the Stack is a confident prism with public interface on all sides.

- Woods Bagot

OMA + Conrad Gargett - The Base

Southbank by Beulah designs revealed at Future Cities Symposium
The Base by OMA + Conrad Gargett. Image: Mr.P

At a height of 345m and total GFA of 255,000 m2, the project would be the largest building that OMA designed after CCTV.  

OMA’s design proposes a tower stemming from a base that acts as a 24/7 mixed-use vertical city with cultural, commercial, educational and social program elements bound together with the more generic programs of retail, food and beverage.

In this vertical city, there are highways of movement through large express escalators, shortcuts by elevators, and laneways to wander on through normal escalators, stairs, and voids.

The Base follows the outline of the site and then tapers back to a slab 100m above the city


UN Studio + COX - 'The Green Spine'

Southbank by Beulah designs revealed at Future Cities Symposium
The Green Spine by UN Studio + COX. Image: COX

Cox Architecture and UN Studio have imagined ‘The Green Spine’ for International design competition ‘Southbank by Beulah’.

The distinct design is the product of the two firms’ collaborative, conceptual thinking of future living. Characterised by twisting cascades of greenery that appear to be cut out from the tower forms, Cox Architecture and UN Studio’s submission considers nature, culture and well-being within the urban framework.

- Cox Architecture

The Southbank by Beulah designs will be exhibited at the Beulah Pavilion until August 1, located in front of the Red Stair Amphitheatre in Southbank.

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

Editor's note 06/08/2018: Links have been added to each individual entry as they are published on the site. Click on the heading of each to open the corresponding article.

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.

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