Opéra, Melbourne

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CBD, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Distinctly sculptural, Opéra, is located at 450 St Kilda Road. The 19-storey tower is distinguished by a unique curve façade and incorporates 235 apartments alongside exclusive amenities, including a pool, spa, gymnasium, restaurant and barbecue area.

The initial inspiration for the tower came from the history of the location and the grand mansions that once lined St Kilda Road. One of the few surviving examples, Airlie Mansion, is located directly adjacent to the site, and is notable for being the home of Prime Minister Stanley Bruce, who led the country in the 1920s.

In capturing the grandeur of this bygone era, in particular the fashion and glamour of evening wear, the curved façade evokes the folds in flowing gowns and was imagined as a piece of stretched material draped over the building.

The balconies, like slices in the fabric, provide the façade with essential movement and give the building a distinct and elegant appearance. Importantly, the tower’s sculptural form distinguishes it from the neighbouring block-like buildings, and at the same time avoids impinging upon and overshadowing Airlie Mansion.

The ever changing double-curved façade was achieved through a unitised based system with cold-bent laminated glass panels, pre-assembled and sequentially installed. The complex geometry required the creation of 297 unique panels and this was realised via parametric design tools.

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