All images by VA © Zaha Hadid Architects
At the end of 2015, Zaha Hadid Architects presented their vision for ‘600 Collins Street’ — the firm’s first project in Melbourne — featuring a tapered mixed-use tower sited on the western boundary of the city’s central business district. It has now been announced that the architectural scheme has been given planning permission, taking it one step closer to realisation.
Zaha Hadid’s 54 storey tower comprises 420 apartments, offices, retail and public spaces, with the overall arrangement characterised by its elegant colonnades of ‘stacked vases’. A delicate filigree gently envelops the building, with each vase gently tapering inwards to create new civic spaces for the city — including a public plaza, terraces and new link for pedestrians to access southern cross railway station. ‘It’s pleasing to see a project of this quality proposed for Melbourne and see a strong architectural response within the framework of the interim controls,’ says Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
Evolving from the city’s distinctive urban fabric, the organisation of the form is influenced by its mixed-use program. The building’s overall volume is converted into a series of smaller stacked ‘vases’. Central to the concept is the break-down of the vertical body by the design team to establish a coherent relationship between tower, podium and surrounding streetscapes. Furthermore, within the proposal, there is a significant proportion of the ground plane given over to public realm, with external area dedicated to a plaza accessible 24 hours a day.