Opéra, Melbourne

View Info

CBD, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Bates Smart was commissioned to design a 19-storey landmark residential development at 450 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. The vision was to create a unique contemporary sculptural object which reflects the area’s history and stands proud among the current ‘block form’ building stock.

During the late 1800s St Kilda Road was a main arterial connecting suburban St Kilda with the Melbourne CBD, and was planned as a wide European-style boulevard to accommodate horse-drawn traffic. Grand mansions of noble significance were built along St Kilda Road, including the prominent Airlie mansion located on the corner of the 450 St Kilda Road site. This was once home to former Prime Minister Stanley Bruce.

Airlie is a pre-eminent example of an architectural and social era known worldwide for its flair and decadence.

The design vision for 450 St Kilda Road draws on the nostalgic glamour of Airlie Mansion and leverages its significance and value to the development site. To express this relationship and rapport, the design takes a sculptural and contemporary shape, creating a landmark which exudes a distinctive, elegant and alluring flavour.

Bates Smart sought to create a building that not only captures the movement and vitality of St Kilda Road’s glamorous past, but also allows key views across the site to be maximised. The facade is stretched like fabric over this contemporary form, with openings expressed as cuts which accentuate the sense of movement. The ground plane draws on the idea of pattern making of traditional paving evident in the grand mansions along St Kilda Road but provides a contemporary twist.

Our design harmonizes the site with its historical and social context, celebrates it with new energy and life to create a strong and unique identity for this new way of living in luxury.

Golden Age Group

32,000 sqm, 19 storeys, 235 apartments


MelBIM, Melbourne
12 November 2015

Progressive design processes
Joachim Clauss

450 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Progressive landmark to celebrate local history