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High-rise Sturt St trend continues

10 Aug 2017

High-rise Sturt St trend continues Image

Locally based architect Rothelowman has submitted an application to the City of Melbourne for a 19-level mixed-use tower at the site of its office building at 153 Sturt St.

The application follows neighbouring architect Hayball’s recent submission for a high-rise tower at its office building at 135 Sturt St, adding to the trend of high-rise development along the edge of Southbank’s low-rise precinct.

A 16-storey development was also approved last year for 250 Sturt St, while 175 Sturt St is currently the subject of a 13-storey proposal.

While its proposal measures at an overall height of 59.6 metres, which is 19.6 metres above the area’s discretionary 40 metre height limit, Rothelowman’s co-founding principal Shane Rothe told Southbank Local News that a range of different heights was what the area needed.

“The State Government’s Blueprint vision of the Arts and Garden precinct requires the private sector to contribute to the built form. Clearly this will not happen unless there is incentive over and above a viable base line development,” he said.

“A balance is required to encourage contributions to this vision or else it will simply not happen.”

In its designs, Rothelowman notes the building’s “recessive transition from Sturt St”, which adheres to mandatory height and setback controls set on neighbouring Dodds St.

The building rises four-storeys and is setback 30-metres from its Dodds St frontage. In its plans Rothelowman states that overall, the building “supports physical and visual connections to the CBD and Arts Centre spine.”

Rothelowman has emphasised its collaboration with both the City of Melbourne and Creative Victoria in creating the proposal, with the development to feature strong artistic and affordable housing components.

Out of the 164 apartments, Rothelowman has included 39 ‘naked apartments’, which according to its plans, are open plan apartments stripped backed to bare essentials offering “affordability, diversity and flexibility.”

The remaining apartments include 32 one bedroom, 85 two bedroom and five three bedroom apartments.

At the ground floor level, Rothelowman has included a public “through block link”, connecting Sturt St to Dodds St with a series of ground floor activations. This activation is defined by a “green” theme and includes co-habitual arts spaces, artistic installations and two open sky courtyards.

Mr Rothe said that based on positive discussions with the City of Melbourne and Creative Victoria, the company was confident that the proposal would help to enliven the Arts Precinct and contribute to the vision described within the Arts Precinct Blueprint.

“Our proposal offers affordable housing, ground floor themed accommodation and a public link from Dodds street to Sturt street in exchange for additional height, a height that is not out of context,” he said.

At 22,276 sqm, the application is subject to the City of Melbourne’s approval as the responsible authority.

Neighbouring architect turned developer Hayball has been the subject of fierce public scrutiny for its 21-storey proposal at 135 Sturt St, which has since been lowered to 18-storeys (read story on page 1).

Member of Save Dodds Street, the group formed in opposition to Hayball’s proposal, and resident of the neighbouring City View apartments Julie Cowley said the height of Rothelowman’s proposal was out of character with the area.

“Our wonderful Arts Precinct is under further attack by opportunist developers and we will be calling on council to support the rejection of this development as they did so supportively with 135 Sturt St,” she said. “I must urge all residents to join us in this next battle and it is even closer to home.”

“As a resident of the lovely little apartment City View Tower block at 161 Sturt Street, I will be urging all residents to stand together and be loud and be clear about what we want for the Melbourne Arts Precinct.”

The application is currently being assessed by the City of Melbourne.

What do you think about this latest high-rise application for Sturt St? Send your thoughts to


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