Rising elegantly in the heart of Melbourne, Australia, stands Collins Arch, a stunning architectural masterpiece designed by Woods Bagot and SHoP architects. This captivating marvel towers to a dizzying altitude of 165 meters and boasts 42 floors of pure, unbridled luxury. Being the first mixed-use development in the area blending modern luxury living with world-class commercial spaces, this iconic building is a beautiful blend of sleek, modern design and timeless elegance. Collins Arch is home to some of the most luxurious apartments in Melbourne, with each offering breathtaking views of the city skyline. It also houses many vibrant commercial spaces featuring upscale shopping outlets and dining options.
Building from the Concepts
At the core of Collins Arch’s design is creating a dynamic mixed-use development that serves its residents and tenants and connects them to the larger public space network. The Urban design idea was to establish a direct relationship between the building and its surroundings, with the ground level as a crucial element connecting the indoor and outdoor spaces. The planning of this iconic building began with an approach that focused on this permeable ground plane.
The building activates street frontage on all sides, bringing life and vibrancy to the surrounding area. Despite its modernity, Collins Arch maintains a sense of aesthetic continuity with the surrounding historical facades. Even as a prominent landscape, its stunning international design sensibilities are seamlessly integrated into the Melbourne skyline.
Collins Arch’s design features two stunning, tapered towers linked by a magnificent 8-level sky bridge. This vertical stacking creates a striking visual presence and has been meticulously crafted to optimise each floor plate and typology, ensuring maximum functionality and viability. Despite its impressive size, the building’s combined footprint occupies only slightly more than the surrounding public open spaces. Its elegant form is complemented by the strategically placed stepped terraces and an open crown at the apex, creating an inviting, open space for its users. The glass-lined arch form is designed inside out, ensuring every space is filled with natural light and stunning views outside. When looking up from the ground level, the building appears to have no roof, adding to its already impressive aesthetic.
Collins Arch’s steadfast dedication to sustainability and resilience is also evident in its impressive green infrastructure, including the stunning Market Street Park adjacent to the site. Designed by Oculus, this visionary park is a marvel of imaginative landscape architecture and reinforces the building’s distinct identity by seamlessly integrating with its ground plane elements.
Crafting Buildings for the Future
Boasting over 50,000 square meters of cutting-edge office space, a luxurious five-star hotel, trendy retail stores, delectable restaurants, more than 200 opulent residential apartments and 2,000 square meters of civic space, Collin’s Arch is one of the largest single development projects ever undertaken in Melbourne.
WSP Architects played a pivotal role in shaping this building, leading the charge in providing diverse services, including cutting-edge electrical and fire protection systems, innovative communications and security solutions, specialist lighting design and civil, waste management and sustainability services. Collins Arch’s commercial segment has set a new standard in health and wellness by securing the coveted WELL Precertification at the Platinum level, making it the third building in America to receive this prestigious certification. The building’s services have been thoughtfully planned, with each owner corporation’s boundaries and agreed-upon areas of responsibility considered. The fire protection system has also been designed with the utmost care, incorporating a series of separate ring mains per title.
Being a mixed-use development, the building has an innovative metering system that allows all tenants to instantly track their energy usage and environmental footprint through a mobile application. Additionally, the building has electric charging facilities, which are integrated with the app to enable payment and monitoring of car charging status. The Waste Management Design in the building strictly adheres to the NABERS Waste auditing and acceleration standards, which involve separating the waste into over 10 different waste streams and ensuring that an above-average amount of waste is diverted from landfills.
The building’s architectural features, from the mesmerising honeycomb coffered ceiling to the towering water wall and the sky bridge, are masterfully accentuated by delicate lighting tools evoking an impact that leaves one in awe. WSP Architects have also crafted bespoke lighting solutions for the hotel’s commercial and residential spaces, enhancing their allure and charm.
From the prestigious Sir Osborn McCutcheon Award for Commercial Architecture at the 2021 Victorian Architecture Awards to the Best Tall Building Award and Best Tall Mixed-Use Building Award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTUBH) in 2022, the list of accolades bestowed upon this iconic structure is a true reflection of its unparalleled design and innovation. Collins Arch is a shining testament to its creators’ collaborative vision and unparalleled expertise, including SHoP Architects, Woods Bagot, Oculus, WSP Architects, Cbus Property, and Multiplex. This pioneering team has not only set a new benchmark for commercial and mixed-use buildings but has also created an enduring landmark that is sure to inspire and captivate generations to come.
- Online sources
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Collins Arch (2020) WSPglobal. [online] Available at: https://www.wsp.com/en-us/projects/collins-arch [Accessed 21 April 2023].
www.skyscrapercenter.com. (n.d.). Collins Arch – The Skyscraper Center. [online] Available at: https://www.skyscrapercenter.com/building/id/18175 [Accessed 23 Apr. 2023].
Australian Design Review. (2022). Collins Arch by Woods Bagot and ShoP – an international sense of design. [online] Available at: https://www.australiandesignreview.com/architecture/collins-arch-by-woods-bagot-and-shop/ [Accessed 23 Apr. 2023]
https://www.oculus.info. (n.d.). Collins Arch | OCULUS. [online] Available at: https://www.oculus.info/projects/collins-arch [Accessed 23 Apr. 2023].