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    Proposed $350-million Koichi Takada project attracts outrage from council

    Kirsty Sier

    A $350-million mixed-use development in Melbourne’s inner north has attracted the outrage of a City of Yarra council member.

    The proposed 383-apartment dwelling, designed by Koichi Takada Architects and developed by Gurner, would add 1,700 square metres of office space and 1,290 square metres of retail to the inner-northern Melbourne suburb of Collingwood. Draft plans for the project indicate that it would cover an entire neighbourhood block between Wellington Street, Victoria Parade and Derby Street.

    The project has been slammed by City of Yarra councillor, Steve Jolly, who told Fairfax Media that the design was “bogan”, comparing it to a “Las Vegas building Photoshopped onto a map of Collingwood”. Citing the height of the building as a concern, he more broadly stated that the character of the building was not appropriately suited to Collingwood’s industrial past.

    Gurner has hit back at Jolly’s criticism of the project, stating that media reports had “grossly misrepresented” Koichi Takada’s designs. In particular, a spokesperson for the developer said that renders used in an article published in The Age were outdated, and had since been modified based on council feedback.

    Draft renders for the project reveal two large white apartment towers that taper into peaks. In the centre, these separate forms merge to form a lagoon-shaped pool area, elevated several storeys above street level. According to a statement issued by Gurner, the lower levels of the building form were designed as a reference to “Collingwood’s industrial past”, while the upper levels were inspired by “ancient terrace gardens, with a unique built form encased in greenery”.

    “We are currently in discussions with local neighbours and [will] continue to talk with council officers to ensure we can implement any further changes required to satisfy their needs before submitting our final amended plans in the process,” said Tim Gurner, founder and director of the development company.

    It is expected that the council will make a decision regarding the Collingwood proposal before the end of July.

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