55 Southbank Boulevard, Melbourne

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55 Southbank Boulevard
55 Southbank Boulevard, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

55 Southbank Boulevard, a defining new landmark for Melbourne, sits between the bustling CBD, the vibrant art precinct of St Kilda Road and the parklands of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Utilising the latest in timber construction technology this project will attain new levels in sustainable design.

The existing commercial office building built in 1989, is able to accommodate a future extension of 6 levels with the use of concrete framed construction. The design challenge we faced was how surpass this in order to deliver a hotel with 220 rooms.

The solution involved the use of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) construction which means the existing building will be able to support an additional 10 levels, thereby achieving the target room number.

When complete the project will be one of the tallest timber buildings in Australia. In addition to being significantly lighter than concrete, CLT use results in lower transport costs and therefore reduced carbon emissions.

Due to the quantum of offsite fabrication, including prefabricated modular hotel bathrooms, the time spent on site is significantly reduced. Most importantly, sequestered within the timber itself is approximately 4,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of the annual carbon emissions of 130 homes. The predominant use of this carbon negative material represents an opportunity for the creation of a new paradigm in sustainable construction.

The new extension seeks to echo and amplify the architectural expression of the existing building. The floor-by-floor striations of the current façade are referenced through the incorporation of horizontal banding. These striations are expressed in a contemporary and dynamic fashion through the use of wide and narrow recesses distributed in a rhythmic pattern. As the building turns the corner, a curvilinear balcony provides the opportunity to enjoy views back towards Southbank and the city.

The combination of new construction technology and the sinuous, curved façade treatment creates an notable project within the Southbank precinct.

Hume Partners (Property) Ptd Ltd

27,000 sqm


55 Southbank Boulevard, Melbourne
Engineered Timber structure enables 10 storey addition to go ahead