Four Seasons to bring a “new standard for luxury in Melbourne” in highly ambitious vertical city

Brendan Rees

A luxury hospitality operator has been chosen to manage a hotel in a $2.7 billion development in Southbank, which will be home to the tallest skyscraper in Australia.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will oversee 210 rooms of the western tower of the STH BNK by Beulah development at 60 Southbank Boulevard where guests will arrive via a sky lobby on the 63rd floor.

The hotel will be in the top section of the western tower and boast an “ultra-luxurious” sky-high urban resort comprising a “world-class” integrated health and wellness hub and rooftop restaurant.

Designed by UNStudio and Cox Architecture, the development between City Rd and Southbank Boulevard will span across two towers, one rising to 102 storeys – some 366 metres high, which will be the country’s tallest as it surpasses the Q1 tower on the Gold Coast, which stands at 322 metres.

A second 56-storey tower will have a matching twisted geometric glass facade design featuring terracing, pocket parks and green spaces.   

Approved by the state government in 2020, construction is expected to kick off in late 2022 and take about five years to complete, with the site also housing a BMW dealership.

Beulah executive director Adelene Teh said Four Seasons was a “perfect partner” for the project, which will set a “a new standard for luxury in Melbourne, offering guests an exceptional Four Seasons experience set within an environment that will be unmatched in this market.”

“Four Seasons will provide an uber-luxurious lifestyle offering to Melbourne’s residents and visitors alike, one that fuses wellness, sustainability, art and culture, and innovation, providing guests with everything they need within the one destination,” she said.

Four Seasons operates more than 100 hotels and resorts worldwide and holds the greatest number of Forbes Travel Guide Five-Stars ever awarded to a single brand.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts spokesman Bart Carnahan said, “We are incredibly proud to partner with Beulah” with the project to  “set a new standard for luxury in Melbourne, offering guests an exceptional Four Seasons experience set within an environment that will be unmatched in this market.”

Along with the hotel, the development will feature a 270,000 sqm mixed-use lifestyle precinct, comprising apartments, commercial offices, a conference, an entertainment centre and 7250sqm of public green spaces.  

Southbank Residents’ Association president Tony Penna said his group supported the development which would be “a great space for the community.”

“It’s really exciting, there’s going to be a lot of infrastructure that’s going to be available to the community to access … and we think that will be a central point for the community to congregate and to meet and play,” he said.

Meanwhile, France’s globally revered art and culture institution, Centre Pompidou, has been announced as the cultural partner for STH BNK By Beulah in which it will create an “innovative cultural centre” for young people.

Centre Pompidou will bring its “world-class expertise” to contribute to exhibitions, workshops, and cultural events via 3000 sqm of dedicated gallery space.

Centre Pompidou executive director Julie Narbey said, “I am very excited at this first step of such an innovative partnership. We are confident it will help us, together with Beulah’s ambitious and dynamic teams, explore daring new ways of reaching goals that have always been dear to our hearts: enabling young people to discover and enjoy the inspiring intersection of culture, arts, creativity and innovation.”

Recognised as a Paris landmark, Centre Pompidou was designed by Renzo Piano and the late Richard Rogers and is one of the most frequented cultural monuments in the world with more than three million visits a year pre-pandemic.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the enlistment of Centre Pompidou was an “enormous coup for our city and demonstrates confidence heading into a post-pandemic world.”

“This will enhance Southbank’s reputation as a world-class arts precinct and will be another attraction to bring more people into the city,” Cr Capp said •

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