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    Docklands apartment building clad in LED lamps that predict and display the weather

    Nathan Johnson

    A new apartment building earmarked for Melbourne’s Victoria Harbour will be wrapped from ground floor to rooftop in LED lamps and will change colour and patterns depending on the next day’s weather.

    888 Collins Street was designed by Woods Bagot architects and will see two towers—one at 125 metres and the tallest tower in the Victoria Harbour precinct, and a smaller 53 metre triangular apartment building—form the bookend of Melbourne’s Bourke and Collins Streets. 

    The smaller western building will feature an LED-wrapped façade that changes patterns to depict the next day's weather forecast according to real-time weather data from the Bureau of Meteorology. It is constructed of 50 metre high LED blades that are designed to accommodate considerable wind loads and thermal expansion and are openable for maintenance.

    (From left) Jalin Realty International CEO Ian Chen with Lend Lease’s Ben Coughlan at the launch of 888 Collins St.  Image: Star Property. The photograph shows the taller Eastern Tower and the LED Facetted Western Tower.

    Bruce Ramus of Ramus lighting designers—whom you might know from projects such as The Darling Quarter Precinct, VIVID Sydney and Wet ‘N’ Wild Sydney—is behind the design of the digital facade and told Fairfax Media that it would be more of an abstract representation of the Docklands environment rather than a weather report of numbers and temperature display.

    "If it's going to be 35 degrees, then the lines [on the building] rise up like a temperature gauge and the lights get warmer [as the temperature rises]," he said. 

    "If it's a windy day, you'll see what resembles gusts of wind going across the building, so it's a really beautiful canvas." 

    The two towers are separated by Seafarers Lane and in total comprise 578 residential units with podium carparking for 350 cars and ground floor retail. Images: Lend Lease and Ramus.

    The entire 888 Collins Street project has a price tag of $350 million and a Design Application lodged by developers Lend Lease back in May 2014 says the two-tower project will provide a total of a total of 578 apartments and a GFA of approximately 40,657sqm.

    The buildings also contains communal roof areas at the top of the podium and tower, offering residents access to additional open space and recreational opportunities such as a gym and swimming pool. The towers will also contain three commercial suites and five retail mixed use units as well as a podium carpark that will provide 350 spaces.

    888 Collins Street will sit within the evolving Victoria Harbour precinct of Docklands, which is a mixed use area that is steadily being developed by Lend Lease from east to west. Already built are the Library at The Dock- Australia’s first cross laminated timber (CLT) public building, and the V5 'Convesso East'.

    The building is scheduled for completion in early 2017.

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