UniMelb adds Swanston Street to their student accommodation portfolio

UniMelb adds Swanston Street to their student accommodation portfolio
UniMelb adds Swanston Street to their student accommodation portfolio

The University of Melbourne is once more chasing the right to create another significant student housing complex.

Located at 625-631 Swanston Street, the project has been dubbed Lincoln Square South and finds itself in the middle of Melbourne's evolving student precinct centred around Carlton's Swanston Street stretch. Lincoln Square South is the latest development that will help support the 50,000 students that visit the institution's Parkville campus.

Submitted last month, the Hayball-designed 14 level building includes capacity for 656 students.

Carrying a cost of development just shy of $70 million, the project requires demolition of three conjoined sites that house buildings dated from 1922 to 1955. An adjoining historic former warehouse building at 11-13 Lincoln Square will be reworked to become a learning hub.

625-631 Swanston Street application summary

UniMelb adds Swanston Street to their student accommodation portfolio
UoM's new building in context. Planning image: Hayball
  • Site area: 2,568sqm
  • Proposed: 14 level tower 
  • 656 beds: 161 x studio, 154 x twin studio, 341 x cluster
  • 2,098sqm of communal area
  • 430sqm learning hub
  • Ground floor retail space: 250sqm
  • Provision for 20 vehicles and 172 bicycles
  • GFA: 20,756sqm
  • Estimated cost of development: $68,262,000

In Hayball's words

The vision for the Lincoln Square South project is to establish an new exemplar for managed student accommodation within the City that brings together academic support with residential life. The facility will seek to set a new benchmark for quality accommodation operation, and to provide a unique addition to student accommodation offerings in Melbourne.

The residence will support a contemporary scholarly community, with academic leadership and quality professional support, delivering a new Hall of Residence on the South side of the Parkville campus. Central to the project is the alignment of a new and unique scholarship program with a quality residential experience. The new accommodation will support up to 60 scholarship students.

The architectural form provides a contemporary response to the University tradition of courtyard and cloister with student common spaces and upper level rooms arranged around a landscaped inner court.

The facade composition and materials incorporates a high quality of finishes and detail, reinforcing the emerging street wall civic scale of Swanston Street and which is complementary to the industrial heritage streetscape on Lincoln Square south.

UniMelb adds Swanston Street to their student accommodation portfolio
625-631 Swanston Street's internal open space. Planning image: Hayball

Swanston Street's appeal - or lack of

625-631 Swanston Street's arrival continues to boost the design merits of Swanston Street.

The early 2000s saw a raft of poorly executed student housing projects line the thoroughfare, turning vast stretches of Carlton's Swanston Street into somewhat of a merit free design wasteland, with the Ian Potter Museum of Art being the exception. In recent times though the general quality of projects proposed or delivered in the area has risen markedly.

Piccolo's award-winning Upper House and the RMIT Design Hub began to turn the design tide, with a number of other projects also waiting in the wings.

Should 625-631 Swanston Street gain approval, it would join the Jackson Clements Burrows-designed 558-566 Swanston Street and the at construction 599-605 Swanston Street in lifting the overall design qualities of the area.

UniMelb adds Swanston Street to their student accommodation portfolio
Swanston Street perspective of the development. Planning image: Hayball

625-631 Swanston Street development team

  • Developer: University of Melbourne
  • Architect: Hayball
  • Town planning & landscape design: Tract Consultants
  • Structural: Webber Design
  • Geotechnical: GeoAust
  • Services: Lucid Consulting
  • Building Surveyor: Mckenzie Group
  • Fire Safety: Omnii
  • Traffic: Impact
  • Facade Engineer: BG&E
  • Accessibility: MGAC
  • ESD: Wood & Grieve Engineers
  • Heritage Consultant: David Bick
  • Waste Consultant: Leigh Consulting
  • Acoustic: Octave

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak

Tags: 
Melbourne University Hayball Student accommodation City of Melbourne

Comments (6)

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Adam Ford's picture
Yes, it's not a glorious building, but it is protected is the point. There is one solitary pdf map that would need to be referenced to include this information. I'm happy to send it to the editors. The report would be a more accurate summary of even what it is trying to achieve if it merely said "this is likely to face resistance because it involves demolition of a heritage structure".
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nwharr
Just looking at the corner building most people would have no idea that it has heritage value in it's current state. Melbourne University does have a very poor history of showing no regard to heritage issues. In this case the building was only recently heritage listed and Melbourne University made a submission to the independent planning panel that the building should not be listed. The independent panel found that the buildings deserved to be heritage listed and the minister then included the building in a heritage overlay. Since there have been no changes to the condition of the building in the meantime I find it highly unlikely that a VCAT member would override the decision of the independent panel and the minister to allow demolition of the building. If the top floors of the Lincoln House had not been demolished the heritage values of the site would not be in doubt.
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Mark Baljak's picture
You can rail as much as you like Adam, Urban Melbourne has been consistent in our reporting style from the outset. Urban Melbourne focuses on development, not heritage. No great surprise there? After all the website was created to shine a focus on Melbourne's development scene. If you want in depth heritage analysis, Melbourne Heritage Action is your source, although you already knew that. I can understand your stance on the article, but as for the idiotic suggesting that we get paid by developers to write piece on planning applications - it says more about your total lack of understanding of the nuances of the planning process and development industry. For the record articles that are paid for have a big red sponsored tab of the head of the article. If you feel he need to deride our writing on applications, that doesn't concern me, go for it! In terms of the dumb-ass suggestion we get paid to write articles on topics such as the above in some sort of undeclared Machiavellian process, that is a quick way to make yourself look like a fool!
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bilby
Go Adam! Unfortunately, though, Melbourne University's history of destruction is unparalleled by even Hayball. Who remembers when they were flattening some of Carlton's best preserved heritage listed Victorian terrace houses around Barry Square (now University Square) and Berkeley Street in the late '90s? Here's one at 218 Berkeley Street that was replaced for a carpark entrance in 1999: [img]http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/vhd-images/places/000/067/404.jpg[/img] [img]https://ibb.co/j8x7gR[/img]
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Adam Ford's picture
So, no need to mention that this proposal would involve the demolition of a specifically nominated heritage building within heritage overlay HO112 Lincoln Square South precinct, and that there is basically no precedent for allowing complete demolition of a graded heritage structure, and therefore this is NOT going to be approved in this form. You didn't feel the need to mention that even once in 1,000 specifically on this development. But we CAN have "Should 625-631 Swanston Street gain approval, it would join the Jackson Clements Burrows-designed 558-566 Swanston Street and the at construction 599-605 Swanston Street in lifting the overall design qualities of the area." This is purely and simply third party shilling. And you are taking money from developers in order to secure these pieces, and you are not declaring this in your articles. So what happens on Urban Melbourne is very distinct from journalism. It's your site, and you have total prerogative to make it what you want. But while it continues to LOOK LIKE journalism whilst not being, I will feel a need to continually augment the commentary. With facts. That readers on the issue should have. This proposal involves the complete demolition of a protected heritage structure, it will NOT be approved in the form proposed here. Approving this would make a mockery of heritage listing. The existing structure is protected in law in its entirety. And Hayball are vandals, and they deserve to have their brand dragged through the mud for this. contemporary Architects are really starting to show how disconnected they are from any proper historical appreciation of their own discipline. Their name is on this design. THEY have chosen to attach their brand to the demolition of a listed and graded heritage structure, and so they've damaged their brand with me, and given me reason to do further afield to boot.
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