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    Iridescent panels and Jenga podium for what would be one of Melbourne’s tallest towers

    Geraldine Chua

    If approved by Council, one of Melbourne’s tallest towers will feature iridescent panels that capture the reflection and refraction of light waves on its surface, and a Jenga-like podium.

    Designed by Plus Architecture, who filed the 81 storey proposal to replace two low-rise office buildings within Melbourne’s CBD in October 2014, 295-309 King Street is inspired by Constantin Brancusi’s famous sculpture Bird in Space, and Finnish architect Alvar Aalto’s modernist Savoy Vase.

    The curtain glaze of iridescent panels will be the highlight of the splayed building, with the façade expected to change appearances depending on weather conditions and the angle from which it is viewed.

    “Plus Architecture’s design for the proposed building embodies elegance, flair and sophistication and adds a high quality signature element to the evolving northern and western residential fringe of Melbourne’s CBD,” town planning agency Urbis notes in their planning permit application report, Urban Melbourne reports.

    “The unique built form has been inspired by the concept of a budding flower, and as a result, presents as a number of tapering curves revolving around a centre point.”

    Incorporating 603 apartments, the tower will include three retail tenancies on the ground floor, a pool, gym, library/lounge, yoga/pilates studio and 78 stores on level 10, and a lounge, wine cellar, dining area, karaoke and gaming rooms on the 79th floor.

    The podium has been designed in response to King Street’s bluestone streetscape, and is said to resemble a Jenga-like formation that will ensure privacy for apartments and add to the vibrancy of the façade.

    Bubbles, Constantin Brancusi’s Bird in Space, and Alvar Aalto’sVase have been cited as design impetus.

    The project is one of many towers planned for the western end of Melbourne’s CBD, but whether it will be approved remains uncertain, especially as the current Labor government has pledged to tackle “wind tunnels, congestion and forests of towers”

    Images: Plus Architecture, Source: Urban Melbourne

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