Southbank by Beulah: MVRDV & Woods Bagot - The Stack

Laurence DragomirJuly 30, 20180 min read

Following last Friday's big reveal of the six competing designs for Southbank by Beulah at the 'Future Cities' Symposium, will this week focus on each individual entry.

First up is MVRDV and Woods Bagot who believe the competition represents a shakeup for development in cities which are under increasing pressure to deliver good higher density living.

For those unfamiliar with MVRDV, the practice was founded in 1993 by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries in the Netherlands. 

For their entry in the Southbank by Beulah competition, the MVRDV and Woods Bagot team have proposed "The Stack"  which has been designed as "a new kind of skyscraper” for Southbank. 

Disregarding the traditional tower and podium typology prevalent throughout Southbank, the Stack instead proposes a confident prism with public interface on all sides, according to the design team.

The strength of the MVRDV and Woods Bagot partnership has been described by the team as the main factor in the innovation and design quality of the Stack.

Southbank by Beulah: MVRDV & Woods Bagot - The Stack
The Stack's programme is expressed externally. Image: Woods Bagot + MVRDV

MVRDV and Woods Bagot assert that the “next” skyscraper should be beautiful, if not wonderful, with the Stack described by the team as “mind-blowing and elegant”.

From the edge of the Yarra River, Southbank Boulevard will be transformed into an urban promenade. A wide pedestrian area with greenery, cafes and terraces becomes the welcoming heart of the district. The new building, the Stack, is located right at the starting point of this urban promenade. Footpaths are wide so that people can walk, wait and sit on the terraces to become "....a nice street.”

From the street all the way to the seventy-sixth floor, the site will be developed as a lifestyle precinct, with apartments, offices, a hotel, entertainment centre, technological display centres, retail, cultural precinct and public green spaces.

Southbank by Beulah: MVRDV & Woods Bagot - The Stack
Sky high amenities with the Stack. Image: MVRDV + Woods Bagot

What they say:

Stacked neighbourhoods are connected from the bottom to the top and vice versa by lifts, stairs and escalators – these interconnections create a true vertical city. It’s diverse, mixed, green, sustainable, human, open. The Stack is a manifesto that shows that urban density is great and can contribute to our planet's survival.

The single mono typology towers that have plagued Southbank don’t offer the richness that Melbourne is known for. We’ve endeavoured to unlock that, infusing the public offering as an extension of our city to dramatically enhance and future proof high rise living.

-  Winy Maas, Co-Founder MVRDV

What makes our proposal different is how we’ve created a Melbourne-centric vertical urbanity. All of Melbourne’s great qualities and amenities are integrated through a sequence of interconnected public spaces, from the ground level all the way to its 359-metre peak.

- Will Hosikian, Woods Bagot Principal

In another magnificent example of international collaboration, our studios have worked together with a spirit of generosity and mutual respect.

-  Ivan Turcinov, Woods Bagot Design Leader

Southbank by Beulah: MVRDV & Woods Bagot - The Stack
Interior image of the public realm along City Road. Image: Woods Bagot + MVRDV

Project details:

  • Value: AUD 2 billion
  • GFA/ Area: 265,000 sqm
  • Height: 77-storeys / 359m

Consultant team:

  • Arup: Structures, Sustainability, Vertical Transportation, Traffic, Services, Fire Engineering, Wind, Geotechnical
  • Ratio: Planning
  • Slattery: Quantity Surveyor
  • McGregor Coxall: Landscape Architect

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

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.
Southbank by Beulah
118 City Road
Woods Bagot
Beulah International
Future Cities Symposium
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