As demolition progresses for the Upper House residential development on Swanston Street, another apartment building on an adjoining site awaits approval with a planning application lodged for 139-155 Queensberry Street, Carlton. Currently under assesment by Melbourne City Council, the site is also bound by Queensberry Way and Cornell Place. The building if constructed will rise 15 levels and sit between the 17 level Upper House project and the 9 level, at sales 81 Cardigan Street.
A product of Plus Architecture, the building will hold a highly articulated light weight façade, which will include horizontal and vertical framing in a bid to break up the mass of the structure. It will comprise 193 residential dwellings and include 72 bicycle spaces.
138 on site car parking spaces will also be included in the development over 3 basement levels, with vehicular access to the building planned for both Queensberry Way and Cornell Place laneways, allowing for the activation of Queensberry Street which will be improved through the addition of 2 new retail outlets. Plus Architecture have also incorporated faux cottages through the ground floor facade, cleverly bringing an element of interest to an otherwise unused and seldom walked laneway.
Adding to the amenity of the building will be a communal rooftop terrace which will be accessible to all residents of the building. The architects have designed the building in a way that allows for a transitional built form for the area, between the higher density Swanston Street precinct and the low rise Carlton precinct. Through this initiative, the Queensberry Street frontage will rise 10 levels to a total height of 32m with an additional 5 levels constructed above this which will be set back between 11.2 and 12.6 metres. The setback also allows for a clear differentiation between the podium levels and the upper levels in the building.
While an effort has been made to provide this transition in built form between the two precincts, Carlton residents have already voiced their opposition to the proposal, with the Carlton Residents Association claiming that 15 stories is of “excessive height” and that it does not aid the transition from taller buildings on Swanston Street to low-rise in the east of Swanston Street. Another point of concern is the domolition of the Australian Communication Workers Union building onsite.
If given the go ahead, one would assume apartments in the building would be highly sought after following the recent selling out of all apartments in the Upper House building. A decision has not yet been made on the permit.
Renders © Plus Architecture.