Injecting Colour Into Melbourne’s Skyscrapers 1

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Thursday, August 7th, 2014
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Architecture firm Elenberg Fraser is bringing a whole lot of colour to Melbourne’s skyline through its latest skyscraper projects.

The recently unveiled design for the 240-metre Victoria One tower offers a shimmering green glazed glass facade that reflects the Victorian landscape. Metal fins on the facade will bring both aesthetic and sustainable benefits to the tall building.

Victoria One’s developer, the Golden Age Group, believes the design will help the tower become a well-known and beloved building.

“Victoria One will be a landmark and Melbourne icon for years to come, showcasing the best of Victoria and the talent of one of the city’s best architectural practices,” said Golden Age Group managing director Jeff Xu. “It will be a building that is always transforming, with the strategic use of the fins dotted at varying points throughout the façade creating the illusion of movement from wherever you observe it.”

Victoria One has been designed to echo Victoria’s most famous landscapes both inside and out with colours from the Great Ocean Road, indoor plants which reflect narrow valleys of the Otway Ranges and more.

“The fluid façade appears soft and yielding like the local parks, oceans and rivers,” said Elenberg Fraser. “Green glazing with gold highlights gives a botanic feel.”

The fins provide wind and sun protection and shimmer in bold silver to reflect the currents of a stream or rain of leaves.

Metal fins create movement in the building

Metal fins create movement in the building

The interior reflects the great outdoors with a palette of materials featuring “elemental tones and textures – earth, rock, water and vegetation.”

The mixed-use skyscraper will include 629 apartments, each with operable windows and winter gardens. The building also includes a pool and a fitness club with views reaching as far as the Macedon Ranges, and three levels of lobby, lounge and dining facilities.

Vegetation will cover a 10-storey podium structure that sits at the base of the skyscraper, adding to the building’s vivid green exterior.

With this project, Elenberg Fraser has highlighted a growing trend toward colourful buildings which reflect their surrounding areas. Two of the firm’s other Melbourne projects also sport rich-hued exteriors.

The nearly-completed, 188-metre Abode 318 residential skyscraper shimmers bronze, with a wave-like facade on Russell Street. The facade consists of 10-millimetre thick rose-coloured laminated glass that has been manufactured with thermal properties to insulate the building.

The firm’s EQ Tower, meanwhile, will have a rose-tinted multi-faceted facade that varies in colour.

“Specially sourced low emissivity glass with a directional oxide coating means that the building interacts with the sun, constantly changing with colour and light,” Elenberg Fraser said. “When the sun is low, the glass glows with a pinkish hue, when it’s high – it reflects the sky.”

Late last year, international building data provider Emporis listed the world’s most colourful skyscrapers. The latest to be completed is Europe’s tallest tower, the 339-metre, copper-coloured Mercury City in Moscow.

Colourful Skyscrapers Injecting The Globe | Mercury City Tower, Moscow

Mercury City Tower, Moscow

Beyond the environmental performance of coloured glass, coloured buildings can also positively impact mood.

“Colourful buildings do not just provide a welcome change from uniform-appearance blocks: bright colours also have a positive effect on the mood and on the memory and reaction times of those looking at them, as researchers at the University of Essex in England have recently discovered,” Emporis said. “Particularly during the cold time of year, when the weather is often grey, radiant colours in a vibrant cityscape can indeed help to drive away the winter blues.”

Victoria One will be Melbourne’s third largest apartment building upon completion, behind Eureka and the soon-to-be-completed 254-metre Prima Pearl tower.

According to the Council on Tall Building’s and Urban Habitat, Elenberg Fraser currently has five residential skyscraper projects on the go in the northern portion of Melbourne’s CBD.

Abode 318's Rose Coloured Facade

Abode 318’s rose-coloured facade

Construction on Victoria One is expected to begin at the end of the year.

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  1. Joel Roberts

    That ought to brighten things up a bit.

    Just what good old Melbourne needs.