coop himmelb(l)au has presented its proposal for a skyscraper in australia, which, if completed, would form one of the country’s tallest buildings. Located at the heart of melbourne’s primary arts and entertainment precinct, ‘beulah propeller city’ has been conceived as a be a recognizable architectural landmark that redefines the city’s residential, commercial, retail and public open-space environments. The proposal is competing against entries from other high-profile firms, including MAD, UNStudio, BIG, OMA, and MVRDV. IGS will cover the other proposals over the next 2 weeks.
The architects vision for BEULAH PROPELLER CITY is the creation of a vertical city composed of multiple functions intertwined in a fluid gesture of vertically linked public spaces. The “Gestalt” of the structural, material and functional components of the design will create a memorable and unmistakable icon in the city-scape.
While the movie theaters are located in a mountain-like building, the Center’s public space is shared between an outdoor cinema and a huge public space which is called Red Carpet Area – i.e. reception area.
The Red Carpet Area is actually three-dimensional: across a ramp which leads along a double cone the guests of honour reach the reception hall. Each of the two areas is overarched by a huge roof, one of them measuring 60 x 120 meters – the size of a soccer field – and cantilevering 85 meters.
“More than a tower. Its time to design a new typology for a highrise.”
They approached the design of the building form as an artist would a sculpture. The maximum possible building envelope was the starting block; the client’s brief, planning regulations, the existing urban form, climate and views to and from site were considerations which prompted the specific carves and manipulations to reveal the dynamic urban figure within.
This hybrid vertical city creates both relationships and fields of tension with the surrounding urban structure; mediating and connecting with the urban fabric it establishes a new urban paradigm for this inspiring location in Melbourne.
The building design creates different districts to suit the principal functions. The interfaces between these areas promote and facilitate connections and sharing. This creates readability and the possibility of identification.
The concept of “public benefits”, which in the traditional sense generates the creation of a multifunctional building, is further developed and expanded: we create real public spaces within a multifunctional structure.
Within the interstices of the main building elements free spaces are created: atria, terraces, community facilities and amenity spaces such as recreational and public areas for leisure, pleasure and circulation. These free spaces provide orientation for the people who use and live in the building and enable personal interaction such that communities are formed. This approach circumvents the isolation that frequently occurs with disconnected levels.
The result of this approach is a unified composition of identifiable building elements comprising low, mid and high-rise volumes created by dividing the program of the building into its four main functional parts; public podium, office, hotel and apartment tower. Through the design of the external primary structure, the internal construction elements are optimized and reduced thereby enabling maximum flexibility for current uses as well as eventual adaptability in the future. This structure for future adaptability is a primary expression of the architectural design. Formal decomposition articulating the various programmatic elements defines the new high-rise typology and ultimately serves to make each functional element feel more intimate.
COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Wolf D. Prix/ W. Dreibholz & Partner ZT GmbH
Local Partner: Architectus
Principal in Charge: Wolf D. Prix
Project Partners: Markus Prossnigg
Design Architect: Alexander Ott
Project Architects: Benjamin Schmidt
Team: Biernat Paul, Bolojan Daniel, Popovic Vasja, Shir Katz, Konstantinos Papachristopoulos, Coskun Irem, Feil Marco, Pu Yuan, Stievenard Valentin, Rancke Jan, La Chi Nam, Parleva Denitsa
Animation/Visualization: Jens Mehlan
Structural Engineering: B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH
Urban Planning: Ethos Urban
Engineering/Structural Design/MEP: ARUP
Energy Design: Brian Cody
Placemaking: Village Well
Cultural Consultant: Timmah Ball
Urban Art: UAP
Wayfinding: Büro North
Cost Management: Rider Levett Bucknall
Building Surveyor: du Chateau Chun
Article courtesy of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Wolf D. Prix/ W. Dreibholz & Partner ZT GmbH