Final renders for the now approved 114 metre Sovereign Square project at 545 Station Street, Box Hill, Melbourne have been released, with the building to become Melbourne’s tallest suburban skyscraper.

Designed by The Buchan Group, the project stands near the local train station and will feature 419 apartments, and include 288 car parking spaces, 167 bicycle spots and 2,677sqm of restaurant space.

The development, proposed by AXF Group, was initially supposed to a 38 level apartment and hotel complex. It was only after a redesign and height reduction that the local council gave it the green light.

Rising from a five level podium, the 34 storey building will feature a façade that is viewed as a highly visible beacon presenting a different face to different approaches.

An inverted ‘L’ facing north, west and east is made of angled bronze glass, and will maximise the play of light. A platinum glass ‘L’ with a basket weave pattern facing north and east will shimmer throughout the day.

The two forms will embrace and define the centre of the tower in a visually bold statement, although they are also practical, allowing all profiles to be cleaned, maintained, and protective of wind and solar gain.

The building has been designed with three main parts, relating to how it will be experienced. A setback at ground level provides wider footpaths which, together with overhead canopies, protect pedestrians from inclement weather.

The façade is activated at the upper levels, with the car park screen and rooftop gardens providing a visual separation of the podium from the residential floors above. Internally, the building as a whole is activated vertically and horizontally, with people encouraged to move up and through the site to the retail and dining terraces that connect to the street life below.

The main body of the residential apartments, also called ‘sky homes’, responds to climatic conditions. Various solar shading devices and balcony treatments ensure an expressive rather than repetitive appearance. Interior spaces are bright, open and will have high quality fittings and fixtures.

Sovereign Square is a highly significant development,” notes Buchan principal, Harvey Male.

“AXF Group is demonstrating with this project…that high-rise residential developments in key activity centres can be sophisticated, engaging and a positive addition to established hubs.”

Developer Richard Gu agrees, and tells the AFR that strong local employment prospects make the Box Hill site a “logical” place for Melbourne’s tallest suburban high rise.

“Sovereign Square will help stimulate further commercial investment and community engagement in the precinct.”

However, some Whitehorse councillors are concerned that the development will worsen traffic congestion and parking issues, with Councillor Raylene Carr saying that parking and congestion, which is already a nightmare, will only get worse.