Collins Arch – Evolution of Mixed-Use

Kate Frear
Principal
Woods Bagot, Melbourne

Collins Arch is a collaborative design by Woods Bagot and partners SHoP Architects for national developer Cbus Property. The AU$1 billion development transforms an entire 6,000-square-meter city block of Melbourne on the pivot of the direct thoroughfares to Docklands, Parliament House, North Melbourne and the entertainment precinct across the Yarra River. Completion is anticipated in late 2020.

Collins Arch connects a variety of key urban typologies; 50,000 square meters of office space, a five-star hotel, retail, restaurants and cafes, over 200 luxury residential apartments and 2,000 square meters of civic space. The arch combines these multiple layers in a striking interconnected dual form, creating the first true 24-hour precinct in Melbourne.

The design team placed an emphasis on the evolution of texture and materials, considering the building form’s transition upward from the ground plane. The eastern façade articulates the relationship between the hotel and residential areas while breaking down the overall scale of the building. At ground level, the façade is defined by a series of frames, providing a sense of scaled-down strength and placement as the building meets the surrounding streets.

The design is premised on a complementary set of criteria: an urban design rationale links the project to a larger public space network, while the mixed-use development privileges the activation of the ground plane to create a landmark destination. The multi-faceted development proposes new ways of improving the quality of urban life in the city, creating people-centric and human-scaled spaces.