Architectural Marvel Alert: Fender Katsalidis and LAS Group Join Forces for Southbank Project

LAS Group 38 Clarke Street Southbank Melbourne
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Melbourne’s vibrant Southbank precinct is on the brink of a significant transformation with the unveiling of plans for a striking 25-storey residential tower at 38 Clarke Street by LAS Group. Developed through a collaboration between the award-winning multi-disciplinary design practice Fender Katsalidis with the Melbourne-based developer LAS Group, the proposed tower aims to redefine the architectural landscape of the area.

The vision for 38 Clarke Street encompasses 188 thoughtfully designed one and two-bedroom apartments, promising residents a harmonious blend of style, comfort, and functionality. Positioned strategically at the corner of City Road and Clarke Street, the tower’s innovative design boasts an angled facade that promises to create captivating interplays of light and shadow, adding a dynamic dimension to the city’s skyline.

What sets 38 Clarke Street apart from its counterparts in the vicinity is its homage to the area’s industrial heritage. Embracing the rich history of Southbank, the building’s lower levels are envisioned to feature intricate red brick detailing and elegant arched windows, paying tribute to the architectural vernacular of the 19th century.

38 Clarke Street in Southbank Melbourne by LAS Group (Image: LAS Group)
^38 Clarke Street in Southbank Melbourne by LAS Group (Image: LAS Group)

Kianson Tay, associate principal at Fender Katsalidis, emphasizes the significance of contextual sensitivity in the design process. He notes that while the tower seeks to respect the surrounding urban fabric, it also aspires to offer a contemporary and timeless living experience for its future residents.

“City road has a heritage of 19th century masonry warehouse buildings which we believe offers opportunities for contemporary reinterpretation. There is an architectural language here of tactile materiality and brickwork detailing which we are excited to interpret into 38 Clarke Street. The material palette of our scheme has a sense of solidity and tactility, with materials that will patina and age gracefully over time,” said Fender Katsalidis associate principal Kianson Tay.

The architectural composition of the tower is equally compelling, featuring two interlocking forms that transition seamlessly from a solid masonry base to a lighter, more delicate materiality of warm-colored concrete blades with an oxide finish, creating a visually striking silhouette against the Melbourne skyline.

The site’s location within the City of Melbourne’s flood zone has presented unique challenges in the design process. However, meticulous planning has ensured that the building is equipped with robust flood resilience measures, including elevating the ground floor 2.5 meters above street level and incorporating resident amenities on the lower ground level.

“To enhance the pedestrian experience and engagement along the street frontages, we have carefully considered the podium ground level experience through human-scaled elements with a sense of craft and detailed design. An off-form concrete canopy establishes a datum line at the base, with a composition of arched brick bay windows that evoke the industrial past of the neighbourhood. We were conscious that City Road can be a busy and hard-edged environment, and so we wanted to introduce architectural detailing and fine-scaled elements to enrich the experience at street level,” added Kianson Tay.

Atop the podium, a verdant oasis awaits residents and neighboring towers alike, courtesy of a meticulously crafted native garden bed designed by renowned landscape architects Tract Landscape Architects. This green space not only enhances the site’s ecological value but also provides a serene retreat for residents amidst the bustling cityscape.

Sustainability is a cornerstone of the project, with measures in place to achieve a 5-star Green Star rating. A bike-friendly lobby, boasting extensive bicycle parking accommodating over 200 spaces, underscores the commitment to promoting alternative modes of transportation and reducing vehicle reliance. Additionally, the all-electric building features angled fins designed to passively reduce solar heat gain, contributing to energy efficiency efforts and environmental sustainability.

As plans for 38 Clarke Street take shape, it is evident that the proposed residential tower is poised to set a new standard for contemporary urban living in Melbourne’s Southbank precinct, offering residents a unique blend of architectural innovation, historical homage, and sustainable design principles.

LAS Group Southbank spokesperson Les Smith added:

“One and two-bedroom apartments are highly sought after in Melbourne’s Southbank, particularly at a mid-tier price point. We’re excited to partner with FK, experts in tall buildings, to actualise these designs that both respect the heritage of the area and create a sense of place for people to call home in one of Melbourne’s most desirable locations, just 1km from the CBD.”

With a portfolio spanning $2 billion worth of current and completed projects, LAS Group has been delivering projects for over 20 years across the residential, office, retail and mixed-use development landscape.

Note: The information presented in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal, financial, or professional advice. While we make every effort to fact-check and verify the information presented, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Readers are encouraged to independently verify any information they find on our website and to consult with relevant professionals before making any decisions based on the information presented. The Australian Development Review does not own the rights to the information included within this article, and furthermore, there is no infringement intended from the included text and images within.

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