Cbus Property has lodged a Development Application for the construction of a $1 billion next-generation commercial tower located at 435 Bourke Street, Melbourne.

Designed by Bates Smart, the building, known as 435 Bourke, seeks to set a new benchmark in sustainable design, with a ‘solar skin’ facade, that will generate a fifth of the project’s base building power thanks to its translucent, vertical glass photovoltaic panels.

The DA submitted by the developer is an evolution of the previously approved tower for the site, also created by Bates Smart. The revised tower comprises 60,000 sqm of commercial office space across 48 levels, with 1,300 square metres of retail space, 116 car parks, a sky garden and several landscaped open-air or mixed-mode terraces.

Bates Smart Director, Cian Davis, says the building has been designed to account for the changing nature of the workplace, brought on by the pandemic.

“We know that the relationship between the work we do and where we do it has been forever transformed,” he says. 

“We didn’t want to design a building that would be outdated by its completion. Instead, it will cater to any work setting and scenario, engage with its surroundings, be open to the neighbourhood at the ground, and achieve the best tall commercial tower performance in Australia. When it welcomes its first tenants, it will be Melbourne’s most flexible, sustainable and, frankly, human commercial building. It is architecture designed for the future, which is already here.”

435 bourke bates smart renders

In line with Cbus Property’s commitment to Net Zero Carbon, which was recently fast-tracked to early 2022, 435 Bourke is designed to achieve Net Zero Carbon in operation. The developer is targeting a 6 Star Green Star New Buildings rating and a Platinum WELL certified rating for the building. 

“People working in the building will be able to look out the window and see where their energy comes from. This collected energy coupled with all-electric operations will help the tower save 430 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The building will also reduce its embodied carbon by 30 per cent through the use of finely tuned materials,” continues Davis.

Cbus Property’s Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Pozzo, says the developer is delighted to have submitted the modified development plans. 

“Our vision is to create another world-class commercial building that represents Cbus Property’s leadership in resilient and sustainable development, while enabling a diversity of experiences and working environments that respond and adapt to evolving workplace trends,” he says. 

“With the onset of the pandemic, we were not content to rest on the laurels of our first DA and strove to futureproof the design of 435 Bourke to bring workers back to the city and respond to an ever- evolving Melbourne workforce with a greatly enhanced focus on sustainability, wellness, collaboration, connection to the public community, nature and productivity.

“Now that people are accustomed to working remotely and in informal settings, the sky garden, ground plane and mixed-mode terraces are key focuses of the new submission, providing diverse and naturally ventilated extensions of traditional workspaces, and contributing to this new idea of a vertical campus in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD with atrium-style physical and visual connectivity.”

435 bourke bates smart renders

The tower will encompass four addresses on the corner of Bourke and Queen streets. The commercial precinct will amalgamate the recently demolished 140 and 150 Queen Street and 27 McKillop Street sites with the yet-to-be-demolished 423 Bourke Street site, which is described as a “vertical village” for some 5,500 occupants.

Pozzo says he believes Melbourne’s commercial office market will bounce back, with more than 800,000 square metres of prime CBD office space due to expire between 2025 and 2026.

“Future work practices are expected to trigger a flight to new developments that are able to respond to shifting tenant needs calling for a holistic and collaborative work-life approach,” he says.

“435 Bourke will meet this demand as a truly state-of-the-art, world’s-best-practice office tower; a pioneer project for the city that will revitalise the centre of the Hoddle Grid precinct and take in 360- degree views across the Yarra River, Treasury and Fitzroy Gardens precinct and Port Phillip Bay from the top six levels.”

Construction commencement on the tower is anticipated for 2022.