Green Spine set to be Australia’s tallest tower

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DUTCH firm UNStudio and Melbourne-based Cox Architecture’s Green Spine has won a design competition with Beulah planning to develop the $2 billion plus project in Southbank, which will become Australia’s tallest building.

Conceived as a conceptual extension of the Southbank Boulevard, Green Spine will be home to a vertical city of green spaces, comprising two towers, both with a twisting geometric glass façade and terracing.

Reaching 356.20m high, the residential tower will be crowned by the Future Botanic Garden, a publicly accessible garden in the sky.

The tallest tower will be residential apartments and the smaller building, at 252.20m high, will be commercial offices, a hotel, specialty restaurants and bars.

At the lower levels, the towers will host an entertainment precinct, a vertical school, day care centre, library, cinema, auditorium and an Australian-first BMW experience centre.

If approved and developed, Beulah’s project eclipses Crown and Schiavello Group’s proposed 322.5m One Queensbridge tower, which has approval but has yet to secure financing.

Green Spine would also overshadow the 312.4m Australia 108 tower and the 322.5m Q1 tower on the Gold Coast.

Malaysian-backed Beulah bought the 6,061 sqm BMW Southbank site in 2017 for $101,088,888. It sold with a development scheme designed by Fender Katsalidis, comprising two towers with more than 800 apartments, 600 hotel rooms and 10,000 sqm of retail space.

However, Beulah wanted something different and undertook a six-month process, shortlisting seven designs from around the world.

Beulah International executive director Adelene Teh said 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.

“At the macro scale, the two-tower silhouettes with twisting forms provide a new, site responsive and elegant visual beacon in the precinct.

“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,” Teh said.

Co-founder of UNStudio Caroline Bos said, “All we can say now is a big thank you for the trust placed in us and we will do our utmost to contribute to a healthier and future-proof Southbank and wider Melbourne with our Green Spine.”

UNStudio co-founder and principal architect Ben van Berkel added, “We are truly delighted that our design has been selected as the winning proposal for this very exciting project! We worked with a fantastic team of cultural placemakers, sustainability consultants, landscape designers, artists and engineers to achieve a fully integrated design.”

Australian Property Journal