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    New high-tech Melbourne tower designed by Elenberg Fraser using sophisticated parametric tools

    Nathan Johnson

    EQ. Tower, a new 63 level, 632 apartment tower complex designed by Elenberg Fraser for Melbourne’s northern CBD precinct showcases the latest in software tools, materials and assembly methods.

    ICD Property will develop the building and said the brief required delivering an abundance of natural light to all 632 apartments housed in the 202 metre building. Architects Elenberg Fraser addressed this request by setting the tower back from the site’s boundaries by an average of 8.5m and by using a parametric equation to enable the unique curves of the building design.

    The firm utilised a parametrically controlled design tool to analyse weather patterns, sunlight, views and apartment usage to ensure no space in the apartment building was underutilised and natural light could be delivered to all living and bedroom spaces.

    Elenberg Fraser’s design director, Igor Kebel said that the design was one of the smartest external assemblies in Australia.

    “The design caters towards wind and natural lighting vectors, while the unique angling of the facade and parametric external patterns maximise view lines out towards the bay and surrounding CBD,” he said.

    The façade of the tower also incorporates a new glazing prototype, which project architect Jeremy Schluter said would change the way public onlookers would interact with the building at street level and beyond.

    “We are excited to be using some of the latest generation of glazing technology on Eq. Tower, which will assist in providing a more even distribution of temperature resulting in lower energy costs for residents over the life of their apartment,” explained Schluter.

    “The coating within the double glazed panels means the facade reflects the sun and surrounding context at different angles and times of the day to produce a transition of colours vertically up the building. The effect is dynamic and ever-changing as you experience the building from close by within the street and from afar on the skyline.”

    The building shape is also unique and is comprised of three distinct segments – low-rise, transitional and high-rise sections.

    The floor plate of the building changes across the three sections with the larger low-level rising to a more slender high rise section of the tower.

    The low-rise section rises 24m over seven levels and includes an 8.5m setback to alleviate the ‘canyon effect’ felt by pedestrians within the immediate area.

    The project continues the recent wave of high-density residential development in Melbourne’s CBD, which ICD describes as a move towards shaping the city as a truly international metropolis.

    “We see Melbourne as an international city both in terms of recognition and size, which is why we have chosen to benchmark Eq. Tower on international markets like Hong Kong and Singapore rather than local competition, to ensure we can align the project with rapidly changing expectations of vertical living,” he said.

    Similarly, Kebel also described the project design as influenced by the redefinition of the cosmopolitan new world and one that looked to international rather than local markets to deliver a benchmark design for the future of Melbourne.

    “The project is a teaser for Melbourne’s CBD urban future – this city has the potential to be a glittering star in the galaxy of South-East Asian cities,” He said.

    This building has been popular with both local and overseas buyers with the building reaching over 90 per cent sold in a matter of weeks. 

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