Beulah International announced that ‘Green Spine’, the design proposal submitted by UNStudio with Cox Architecture has been selected as the winning design for their latest project, Southbank by Beulah in the heart of Melbourne.
“The Green Spine showed work by a strong, multidisciplinary collaborative team that is a bold, yet thoroughly considered approach to creating a context driven landmark as an addition to Melbourne’s skyline. In its details, the scheme displays a strong intent for well-considered public and private amenity, and at street level, the proposal displays qualities that will truly transform the public realm by eroding the hard edges that is prevalent in Southbank.”
Ben van Berkel commented on the win, “We are truly delighted that our design has been selected as the winning proposal for this very exciting project! For our proposal to be selected by Beulah – such a forward-focussed developer – and from entries by such an exceptional group of our peers is a true honour. From the outset we worked with a fantastic team of cultural placemakers, sustainability consultants, landscape designers, artists and engineers to achieve a fully integrated design. This truly is a great result for everybody involved!”
The Winning Design
This multifaceted spine is created by the splitting open of the potential single mass at its core, thereby forming two separate high rise structures and causing them to reveal the almost geological strata of their core layers as they rise above a light-filled canyon. As a result of this design intervention, the towers that result on either side can enjoy porous city views and vastly improved contextual links. The orientation of the Green Spine enables an extension of the public realm on the podium, the continuation of green onto the towers and facilitates orientation to the CBD and the Botanical Garden at the top of the towers.
In addition to being fully integrated within the existing Melbourne network of cultural, entertainment, leisure and commercial venues on offer, with its variety of programmes and connectivities, the design further proposes a mixed-use building that is a city in itself. A host of programmes, including recreation, retail, offices, residential, hotel and exhibition spaces are integrated into the vertically stepped public infrastructure – an infrastructure that is formed by indoor-outdoor spatial frames that embed nature, public space and culture. On a local level the aim of the design is to provide porousness at street level, whilst simultaneously connecting the upper floors with the streetscape by expanding the public realm.
The competition generated a wide range of boundary pushing designs from the shortlisted firms, BIG, OMA, MVRDV, Coop Himmelb(la)u, and MAD. Their proposals are also included in the gallery below.
MAD + Elenberg Fraser
BIG + Fender Katsalidis Architects
“The Lanescraper” features two blocks, interlocking to provide connectivity and structural rigidity, with the spaces between forming a series of laneways.
Coop Himmelb(l)au + Architectus
“The Beulah Propeller City” is a 335-meter-high vertical city divided between four functions: public podium, office, hotel, and apartment tower.
OMA + Conrad Gargett
The OMA and Conrad Gargett scheme emphasizes the base of the building, rather than its crown, drawing inspiration from historic Melbourne arcades and vaulted markets.
MVRDV + Woods Bagot
“Stack” is a 359-meter-high skyscraper comprising “stacked neighborhoods connected from the bottom to the top and vice versa by lifts, stairs, and escalators to create an interconnected vertical city.”