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'Green Spine' Wins $2B Design Competition

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

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Dutch architecture firm UNStudio was recently named the winner of developer Beulah International’s design competition for a $2 billion mixed-use tower in Melbourne.

The firm paired up with Melbourne’s Cox Architecture for the “Green Spine” proposal, which has yet to be submitted for planning assessment. If approved, the design will be Australia’s tallest building (at 322.5 meters, or 1,058 feet), though that was never the goal.

Architect Philip Rowe, a director at Cox, told Architectureau that the title of tallest tower is a part of the project, but wasn't its driving force, as the team's “focus is very much on the first 25 meters of the podium."

The Project

Rowe was referring to a distinct twist in the design—a “green spine facade” that allows the towers to take a twisting shape, featuring balconies and terraces full of green space in the curves.

The design uses both the green spine facade and a glass facade. Both styles “are subject to an optimized variation of architectural parameters,” which include screen density and depth, the architects noted.

The lower levels of both towers are clad in the greenery of planted shrubs, with actual trees planted in the winter gardens. The garden at the top of the residential tower absorbs noise and air pollution. Forest ferns covering the ground help provide a cool atmosphere regardless of the heat. Open balconies and gardens in the upper sections of the towers provide spaces for socializing.

The ground-level podium and its rooftop park are open to the public. Like the towers, the podium proper houses space for shopping and entertainment, as well as a BMW experience center. Stairs run from street level to the roof garden.

“As Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia, our design proposal for Southbank by Beulah will enhance this profile and give the city a new place in which its art and culture can be displayed for the world to see,” the architects wrote.


Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Architecture; Asia Pacific; Color + Design; Competitions; Design

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