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    Melbourne "churchscraper" by The Buchan Group redefines mixed-use

    Nathan Johnson

    A new 44-storey tower approved for Melbourne’s CBD takes a unique spin on the term “mixed-use” architecture; it will function as both a three-storey church and a 307-residential apartment complex.

    Designed by The Buchan Group and situated at 279-291 Latrobe Street, Melbourne, ‘Eporo Tower’ is owned by the Coptic Orthodox Church who briefed the architects to provide a landmark apartment building for the city that would also house the church’s worship spaces, Sunday school, Theological College and administration offices. 

    The $90 million building will rise to over 140m high and will have two major components including an 11-storey “jewel box” podium and a 32-storey glass-clad curving tower.

    The podium forms an architectural pedestal to the tower and has been designed to appear as a glittering “jewel-box”, featuring on all its faces a Coptic cross geometric pattern, multi-toned stained glass and perforated powder coated metal. It will contain ground level retail and cafe spaces, the Coptic Church space and seven levels of residential car parking.

    The 32-storey tower is even more glazing-heavy and is shaped in “wave-like” planes. All of the 307 apartments have balconies which are recessed into the facade and have clear and reflective coated glass balustrades so as to retain the building’s flowing form.

    In between the tower and car park, and separating the public and private spheres, is the level-11 Residents Club which occupies nearly half the entire tower floor plate. The club contains a Lounge area, a Function/Dining Room, a Cinema and Library, together with a wide external terrace containing Barbeque areas and passive recreation spaces.

    The apartments are designed to achieve a 5 star average and 3 star minimum house energy rating and feature the following ESD features:

    • Low VOC paints
    • Contaminant monitoring systems within carpark
    • Efficient natural gas fired domestic hot water systems
    • Bicycle spaces for visitors and residents
    • Water efficient fittings, fixtures and appliances
    • Recycling chute on tower apartment floors
    • Recycling of construction waste
    • Zero ozone depleting potential refrigerants used in air conditioning

    Images: Facebook

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