A new $165 million development in Melbourne’s northern CBD precinct will showcase the latest in software tools, materials and assembly methods.
Designed by Elenberg Fraser, the 63-storey EQ Tower will feature 632 residential apartments, including one, two and three-bedroom units, 212 car parking spaces and 212 bike spaces. The new high-rise building will be 202 metres tall.
The apartments in the lower levels will include separate balconies, while those in the upper levels will feature winter gardens.
The project will also include amenities such as lounges and gyms. At the top of the building’s podium there will be a private lounge with karaoke suites, a swimming pool, a spa, a sauna and gym, while level 33 will be home to private dining and bar/lounge facilities.
The architecture process included the study and analysis of views and dight lines, amenity/daylighting and the building's response to wind frequency and oscillation. The designers utilised a parametrically controlled design tool to analyse weather patterns, sunlight, views and apartment usage to ensure all spaces would be well-utilised and that natural light would enter all interior spaces.
The detailed studies resulted in the building's unique hourglass form that stretches up to become a multi-faceted form at the top of the building.
“We know this is the shape that will provide the best outcomes in terms of wind and sun for this particular site,” the architects said.
The apartment tower complex boasts a seamless integration between balconies and wintergardens.
“After 24 storeys we need to enclose balconies to ensure comfort for residents so we created gill-like structures that still allow for interaction with the elements,” the architects explained.
The material used in the facades is a specially sourced low emissivity glass with a directional oxide coating that interacts with the sun, constantly changing the building's colour depending on the light. For example, when the sun is low, the glass glows with a rose-coloured shade, and when it is high, it reflects the sky.
To ensure natural light can reach every apartment, the tower is set back from the site’s boundaries by an average of 8.5 metres and by the use of a parametric equation that results in the unique curves of the building design.
Elenberg Fraser design director Igor Kebel said the design is one of the smartest external assemblies in Australia, and project architect Jeremy Schluter noted that the new glazing prototype incorporated in the façade would assist in providing a better distribution of temperature, resulting in lower energy costs for residents.
“The coating within the double glazed panels means the facade reflects the sun and surrounding context at different angles and times of the day to produce a transition of colours vertically up the building. The effect is dynamic and ever-changing as you experience the building from close by within the street and from afar on the skyline,” the architects said.
Kebel added that the project design was influenced by the redefinition of the cosmopolitan new world and one that looked to international rather than local markets to deliver a benchmark design for the future of Melbourne. The building has proved popular with both local and overseas buyers with the building, with more than 90 per cent of the units already sold.