The 40 metre limit was established for a reason.
It keeps the retail core civilised.
Anyway, I personally can't see the "design strengths" of what is just another glass box with a superficial environmental rating.
Don't mess with it.
I can understand why the National Trust wants to fight this one.
http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/ ... 35032.html
Melbourne's Anglican Church is concerned that its landmark St Paul's Cathedral is being "crowded out" by skyscrapers. It is preparing to again defend the cathedral's position on the city skyline.
An offshoot of Sydney banking giant Macquarie has bought 171 Collins Street, near Swanston Street, and is proposing an 88-metre glass tower that would create a new backdrop to the lower spires of the church.
But Macquarie's financial muscle looks set to be challenged in Melbourne's spiritual, heritage and government realms with the church, National Trust and Melbourne City Council already raising concerns.
Although all three have noted the architectural quality of the $240 million project — its "crystalline" appearance has an ethereal, almost heavenly, feel about it — all agree that the height and potential to overpower the cathedral is problematic.
The proposed retail and office building would be more than twice the recommended 40-metre height limit for that site and a significant addition to the skyline from the south.
The Anglican Dean of Melbourne, David Richardson, yesterday said the Macquarie tower was the latest in a gradual encroachment on St Paul's, which is undergoing a $15 million to $20 million facelift. "If you view the cathedral from the Rialto, you can really see how much it has been dwarfed and lost among the cathedrals of commerce and industry."
Dean Richardson stressed the Anglicans had not taken a formal decision on the tower, which he described as "quite an exciting looking building". But he said he had concerns about its impact on the spires and overshadowing of the cathedral precinct.
Boasting a five-star energy rating and new pedestrian link from Flinders Lane and Collins Street, it is being widely praised for its positive contribution to the city at street level. It would also return the facade of the historic Mayfair building in Collins Street to its original grandeur.
"We are proposing to deliver a new generation of office space that will add to Melbourne's design excellence," Macquarie Office Trust chief executive Adrian Taylor said.
But in the development world, such positives almost always come with a catch. And the catch in this case is sacrificing the central city's jealously guarded height limit.
Under a long-standing strategic vision, championed in particular by former Cain government planning minister Evan Walker, the area around the Swanston Street spine and between Elizabeth and Russell streets was to remain low-rise, with buildings climbing to the east and west. The height limit on the Macquarie site is still 40 metres, although it is a preferred, not mandatory, limit.
Councillor Brian Shanahan said the council viewed the Macquarie project as offering many benefits, but the downside was the impact on the skyline. "So there's the rub," he said.
The National Trust is preparing to oppose the building, while recognising its design strengths.
Planning Minister Justin Madden will have final say on the proposal. But the Anglicans may be hoping for intervention from even higher places.
Proposed building from Flinders Lane
Existing height limited Collins Street facade
Say goodbye to the scenic backdrop ...