Chicago-based architecture firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) is working with Fender Katsalidis for the 600 Lonsdale Street site, situated on the corner of Lonsdale and King Streets that is set to be transformed into a $500 million 40- storey tower with combined hotel and office functions.

A 280-key boutique hotel will sit atop approximately 24,400 gross square meters of A-grade office space.

The outdoor amenities and balconies are accessible from office spaces at every level, providing an opportunity for moments of collaboration and interaction, as well as respite and connection with nature.

Resembling a ‘stacked tower’, the building’s exterior is inspired by Melbourne’s rich legacy of terracotta and faience facades while embodying biophilic principles throughout.

Fender Katsalidis director James Pearce says the two distinct uses of hotel and office will work well in the rejuvenation of this area of the city.

“The legal precinct in Melbourne is undergoing enormous transformation as part of the city’s continual regeneration and we are excited to be working with lead architects SOM to deliver the project.

“There is a natural synergy between the two typologies with their growing number of overlapping facilities, even though the combination of these two uses in a single building is uncommon in Melbourne CBD.

“It’s an excellent way for the lower levels of the building to be activated given the distinct times that each use has its peak – office being during the week and hotel on the weekends,” says Pearce.

Scott Duncan, SOM design partner adds, “This is an exciting time to bring this project to the West End of Melbourne’s diverse and rapidly transforming CBD.”

“Our concept for a ‘fine grain’ tower respects the historic scale of the neighbourhood and introduces a vertical network of ‘laneway-like’ outdoor spaces throughout. Weaving the interior and exterior spaces together is a key aspect of the building’s biophilic design approach, speaking to how the ability to spend time outdoors has such positive effects on our health and wellness. We’re thrilled to be working with our local collaborators Fender Katsalidis and others to contribute to the city’s enduring architectural and urban design legacy,” Duncan adds.

A highly permeable and open ground level, and operable storefront elements, invite the

 public in and further blurs the boundaries of use as hotel while office and retail functions interact and overlap.

Image: Supplied