Two residential projects seek their spot on Hawthorn's Burwood Road

On of Hawthorn's more peculiar buildings may well be replaced by a new tower with 393-397 Burwood Road subject to a planning application.

Expected to make way for a new apartment building is the incumbent low-rise and architecturally unique commercial building onsite. Although not carrying heritage significance - that is reserved for properties elsewhere along Burwood Road - the current structure does provide a design point of difference along the strip.

Nonetheless, the current application would amongst other things, seek to enliven Burwood Road, Serpells Lane and the public plaza located at 372 Burwood Road with active frontages.

Incidentally, the addition of 393-397 Burwood Road to the Urban Melbourne Project Database now sees the number of apartments monitored by Urban Melbourne and under development within Hawthorn teetering on the 1,100 mark.

Burwood Road's latest aspirant. Planning image: Ascui & Co

Spanning 11 levels, 393-397 Burwood Road 47 apartments are categorised as 24 x 1 Bed + 1 Bath, 3 x 2 Bed + 1 Bath, 20 x 2 Bed + 2 Bath. ranging between 45sqm and 76sqm, the apartments are above 3 sub ground stacker levels and a ground floor which includes 4 retail tenancies over 265sqm.

393-397 Burwood Road finds itself next to one of Hawthorn's pioneering high density builds. The Barrett was built over 2004/2005 and rises to thirteen storeys and includes 107 residential apartments plus 41 student dwellings which front Burwood Road.

A design collaboration between Bird de la Coeur and the then Hayball Leonard Stent, The Barrett's podium height will be replicated across the podium of 393-397 Burwood Road. Above that, project architect Ascui & Co describes the facade as an "interwoven and faceted bronze curtain wall cladding form intended to provide contrast and relief from existing built forms consisting largely of brick and concrete frame buildings."

The site with Barrett under construction during 2004

For Ascui & Co 393-397 Burwood Road continues the architecture practice's affinity with Hawthorn, registering their fifth current project within the Urban Melbourne Project Database for the suburb. These five follow on from a handful of already completed apartment developments in Hawthorn conceived by the practice.

Not too far away developer PC Prestige Pty Ltd has sought approval for the construction of an 8 storey apartment building holding 45 apartments across a 1,178 square metre site spanning 620-624 Burwood Road.

624 Burwood Road which dates back to 1917 is to be razed under submitted plans. According to planning documents, 624 Burwood Road has undergone significant alterations and although a Heritage Overlay applies to land to the north and west of the site, the overlay does not include the site itself.

What is and what could be. Images: Google Earth & Interlandi Mantesso Architects

In an area that includes a mix of built form, Interlandi Mantesso Architects have conceived the 8 storey project which includes tessellated facebrick, perforated patterned concrete, textured White/ Grey renders and Charcoal highlights over its facade.

Internally 7 single bedroom apartments are around the 51sqm mark, 33 dual bedroom apartments band between 68sqm and 89sqm, with 5 triple bedroom apartments holding internals between 100sqm and 137sqm. A ground level 599sqm retail space has been earmarked as a car sales showroom.

620-624 Burwood Road has pushed the number of dwellings in development that are being tracked by Urban Melbourne to beyond the 1,200 mark.


Rohan Storey's picture

So annoyed that the 2011 heritage review of the Glenferrie Rd / Burwood Rd area stopped short of recommending this interesting little Tudor Revival number for an HO (because the new thing next disconnected it from the precinct i suppose). Personally, I believe that these Tudor Revival shops (theres a great one on Glenferrie up from Riversdale that did get a listing) are a particular feature of the interwar eastern burbs, from the 5 examples at Toorak village to scatterings across camberwell, hawthorn, kew, glen iris etc. and so all worthy of protection. This is an unusual example, and should have got protected. Whats more, it wouldnt be too hard to keep the front portion, and still build the bulk of the proposal.


Back to top
Andrea's picture

What a disgrace that this application is even being considered!! I very much doubt that a large, badly-built, cookie-cutter block of unlivable flats is going to 'enliven' anything - as opposed to leaving examples of interesting old architecture, which give people a reason to wander along the strip to admire/be amused by the unusual and different.

Back to top
Mark Baljak's picture

The reason it is being considered is outlined in Rohan's comments above.

Out of interest who conducted the heritage review? Is that Boroondara's responsibility?

Back to top
Nicholas Harrison's picture

It is the responsibility of the City of Boroondara to list heritage buildings.

Their 2011 heritage review did not consider 393 to be of heritage significance and the heritage gap study completed this year also did not include this building.

Back to top
Adam Ford's picture

Rohan's thesis that this is actually a distinct form worth preserving could easily be argued. But I have to say, if there's ever been a stupider or more irrational architectural fad than Tudor Revival, then I don't know what it is.

There was SOMEthing going on briefly, nostalgia around Lizzies coronation maybe? that inspired this. But building in this way, in these materials (and how gloomy must the interiors be?) in the modern day and age is kind of building in defiance of the purpose of building. So it just always strikes me as pastiche.

You could photoshop in a sign saying "Ye Olde Bawdy Wenches Theatre Restaurant" and nobody would turn their head.

Back to top
3000's picture

For once, I don't mind this one going. There are far better examples of Tudor around than this run-down heap.
It's got a sort of pomo cheap feel about it, the way it references Tudor on the top half but has a clumsily built modern style retail podium on the bottom.

Back to top
George D's picture

And is finished off with a painted brick wall. It's not even fake-Tudor on every side!

Back to top

Note: Every effort is made to ensure accurate information is provided. If information is out of date, or factually incorrect, please get it touch so we can rectify. Urban accepts no liability and responsibility for any direct or indirect loss or damage which may be suffered by any recipient through relying on anything contained or omitted from our publication and platform. Opinions expressed by writers are that of the writer, and may not reflect that of Urban.