INFLUENTIAL. CONFIDENT. PROMINENT. CONCEPTION TO CREATION
Once the British Empire’s largest and wealthiest city after London, Melbourne’s gold rush stimulated an architectural boom, transforming Collins Street into the celebrated Golden Mile. The striking neon-Gothic and Italianate bank and insurance buildings remain today, still surrounded by handsome stone churches and the country’s most fashionable stores.
The historical prominence of this corner address asserted a strong influence over the original architectural vision for 555 Collins. In Melbourne’s modern era we considered it essential to honor the sense of grandeur typical to the many classical buildings along Collins Street. The final, uniquely elegant form comprises an evolving facade that constantly changes as it is viewed from different aspects around the site. Intricate and textured, this facade provides intriguing and inviting points of view to pedestrians. 555 Collins adds new excitement to the vibrancy of Melbourne’s city skyline as light moves across this sinuous new form. The larger fins on the tower gradually transition into fine mullions at the ground level akin to the tracery windows commonly found along classical shopfronts of heritage buildings along this iconic Street. 555 Collins is an exemplary address; its prominence, outlook and formal expression distinguish it as a rare and lavish residential development of genuine international design standing. Aware that lane ways are now a culturally significant characteristic of Melbourne, we were inspired to re imagine the notion of a podium, thereby providing a contemporary and elegant addition to the precinct’s streets cape. The tower’s form tapers inward towards the ground level, creating a continuous pedestrian loop and offering new opportunities for public space. In this way 555 Collins brings a contemporary addition to the city’s constellation of lane ways, connecting residents and workers to Kings Street, Collins Street and Flinders Lane. Largely transparent, the tapered ground plane allows daylight to filter freely into the internal retail spaces and artificial light to glow into the streets and lane ways at night. This consistent luminescence creates an urban environment that is safe and inviting. This shapely creation is both a stunning sculpture and a new civic plaza for Melbourne’s CBD.