The CBD's northern construction boom in colour

The CBD's northern construction boom in colour
Mark BaljakMay 14, 2016

The CBD's northern end is in full bloom so to speak as a variety of high-rise projects rapidly progress from paper designs to reality.

So much so one only needs to crane one's head skyward to see multiple tower cranes dotting the skyline in all directions. Hand in hand with this fundamental change to the look and feel of the CBD's northern reaches is the injection of purple facades over certain skyscrapers as design practice Elenberg Fraser seek to break the ubiquitous blue of many a Melbourne skyscraper. 

No less than 12 towers are under construction in the area, with the combined numbers as follows: 723 new student accommodation beds, 208 serviced apartments and 5,475 apartments.

See below a pictorial update of the CBD's emerging 'new face' 

Elizabeth Street's Big Four

The CBD's northern construction boom in colour
Having all your ducks in a row : Empire, Light House, Victoria One and Vision Tower

They are indeed the 'Big Four' with Empire the shortest at 198 metres. Seen in the top image above, Brady's Vision Tower is all but externally complete whilst Victoria One, Light House and Empire's visible jump forms round out the quartet.

Under the guidance of Probuild both Victoria One and Empire's jump forms have skipped ahead of their respective floor plates, whilst Brookfiled Multiplex's Light House has employed a common placing boom to pour both floor plate and core, thus the difference in appearance.

In terms of physical finishes Light House shapes as being the most striking, with the undulating Elenberg Fraser-designed tower already showing some unique purple design features over its early levels. Victoria One has received its first glazed facade panels whilst the golden fins of Empire continue to rise rapidly.

La Trobe Street bulks up

The CBD's northern construction boom in colour
La Trobe Street also maintains strong construction activity

La Trobe Street has a case of the blues with three towers nearing completion and sporting predominantly blue facades. Hickory Group's La Trobe Tower build is racing toward its structural completion thanks to the Hickory Building System whilst nearby Eporo Tower is also close to topping out.

Further along La Trobe Street and the ultra thin Trillium Tower is also approaching its final height under the guidance of head contractor Built.

Whilst not on La Trobe Street but in close proximity, EQ Tower is approximately half way to its ultimate height. Sporting a uniform purple facade, the highly overt build has brought another shade of Elenberg Fraser purple to the area.

Down and dirty

The CBD's northern construction boom in colour
Projects yet to break ground level

Aurora Melbourne Central, Avant, Scape Swanston Street and Conservatory are all currently at a preliminary stage of construction centred around site ground works.

Avant seen above left will have its core soon enough with footings in place whilst Scape Swanston has made rapid progression over the last month, with its tower crane starter already in place.

Future builds on the radar

Future builds for the area are headed by the twin-towered Queens Place development and Scape La Trobe Street which are well into their respective development processes.  

Future paper developments such as 48-52 La Trobe Street, the expected 200 metre Munro site tower, 98-102 Franklin Street, 97 Franklin Street and 111-125 A'Beckett Street as well as the extension to Melbourne Central Station as part of the Melbourne Metro Rail project will ensure Melbourne's Northern CBD will continue to see healthy levels of construction for some years to come.

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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