“It is surprising and frustrating as an architect because Melbourne is such a strong architectural city,” he said. “We have good schools of architecture, such good practices, such great history and heritage, and yet we have allowed substandard projects to get through in the last 10 or 15 years, and hopefully it’s all part of a push to curb it. shortly.”
Sir. Hyde pointed to the Neo200 building on the corner of Spencer and Little Bourke streets, where eight-story street parking did not allow for a “living” city.
He was also critical of City Road in Southbank, which he described as having “density at the Hong Kong level with a six-lane highway running through it”, with little advice to the public.
“Some of these buildings are well designed on their own, but that’s the sum of the parts that are an abrasive part of the city to live in,” he said.
Panelist and Monash University architect Shelley Penn said even the best architects benefited from a new set of eyes.
Recent developments, including Abode at 318 Russell Street and A’Beckett Tower at 31A A’Beckett Street, had resulted in poor quality results due to multiple levels of empty parking at the street interface, poor quality materials, and empty walls with street-level service panels.
The area around both buildings was “eerie at night” because of the lost opportunity to allow for a great roadway experience, making it uncomfortable to walk around and less safe, she said.
“In Melbourne, we have gone a bit backwards in quality,” she said. “We used to be a leading city in design, but some of the latest developments in the heart of the city are terrible. For people walking around the streets, feel delighted and sure that there are ‘eyes on the street’. ”
Panelists said examples of strong architecture in the CBD included the QV complex on Swanston Street, the development at the bottom of Nauru House at 80 Collins Street, Melbourne Connect at 700 Swanston Street, Collins Arch at 447 Collins Street and the Ian Potter Southbank Center for Melbourne Conservatory of Music.
Panelist and architect Georgia Birks said it was important to criticize the design and development of design to ensure it responded to how we live in the city.
She said design and architecture were needed to respond to challenges such as climate change, population growth and the coronavirus pandemic, all of which had affected Melbourne.
“It’s a moment for reflection on how we live and how design needs to adapt and respond to what we’ve all been through,” she said. “Street activation is what brings the atmosphere into the city, and that’s what we lack so much with lockdown.”
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