Bates Smart has shed 180m of 435 Bourke Street’s original height from Cbus Property’s skyscraper in response to an amendment request from the council.

Since Bates Smart’s first application in 2018, the significant design iteration has seen the 55-storey tower reduced to 49 stories over the course of 19 months.

The reduction comes in light of ensuring it meets council compliance regulations after the original height was proved to overshadow the streetscape and Yarra River throughout certain periods of the day.

In addition to a shorter skyscraper, its internal rhythm will be shifted; removing one bank of lifts yet adding a new street-level podium in response its existing heritage building being of poor structural condition.

Although additional overshadowing of 360 Collins Street and McKillop Street (a public laneway) will also occur, the Future Melbourne (Planning) Committee (FMC) deduced that these sites “will only be affected by additional shadow slightly earlier than what currently occurs.”

The Planning Minister has been said to soften high-rise rules, reassessing aspects of C270, as early as February.

The response is between the push-and-pull between ‘Mr Skyscraper’, Matthew Guy, and a serious drop in commercial office space vacancies which the Property Council has called a “serious cause for concern”.

435 Bourke street’s wellness hub will still have an estimated completion of 2023, with the $1bn investment and renewal to the Bourke Street/Queen Street precinct anticipated to contribute to the high demand for additional workspaces within central Melbourne.