Green Spine or Green Wash ?

Original post 4 March 2020

So the ‘Green Spine’, Melbs newest tallest at 102 floors, on City Road, Southbank, got passed by the @cityofmelbourne on Tuesday, next step is approval by the Minister. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it. Firstly, the shape – if you’re going to have a spiral then why just one twist in the bottom half – why not keep twisting ? Ends up looking like a bit is missing. And then it’s just square on top, no crown, spire, skyline, I like my towers pointy. Designed by #UNStudio with #CoxArchitecture, the design features a lot of greenery, but apparently none of it is guaranteed. The green strips on each floor are like 1.6m wide planters, not balconies, and they havnt said what will be planted or who will look after it, I guess they can work that out? The ‘public space’ on top of the podium is nine floors up a convoluted set of stairs, past a lot of retail, and a meeting room/office area for a not-for-profit (but don’t know who); the green space up there is actually rather small, not sure anyone would bother. The sky garden/conservatory at the top of the tower is another thing, I’d go to that ! Assuming it is public. They’re also putting $5mill into landscaping Southbank boulevard in front…but that would have happened anyway. And childcare, but that’s a profitable business. So I think they’ve put a lot of things in that sound like ‘public benefit’ but arnt really, and they’re all selling points actually, in order to get it through – and nearly all the Councillors said they liked it, so it worked. But they didn’t have to, cos the smaller tower is offices, which gives them enough ‘floor area uplift’ to get to 38:1 #plotratio (which is a lot). And there’s 765 apartments, but not one is affordable.

Top of podium

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