DOCK 5 - Apartments

“The floor plans are like diagrams of various views, an organic response to a particular site.” John Wardle

Redevelopment of Melbourne's former docklands is moving the city's centre of mass. The Dock 5 project houses 148 apartments, both within a tower above and also around a podium that contains a carpark, restaurants and cafes. It is part of the overall development of Victoria Harbour, and has been designed to integrate into a more dense future built environment.

Its relationships to adjacent streets, the main promenade along the harbour and the water itself have been prioritised. Designed from the inside out, the tower finds its character by imagining the life within and views beyond. Rather than adopting a geometric formula that subjugates the building's interiors, the shape and form of the tower results from unique responses to the location of each apartment. The inflections of the eccentric floor plans are a product of planning for optimum views - they are like view diagrams, an organic response to a particular site. The planning of the apartments locates the main living spaces at the furthest point from entry, which exaggerates the sense of apartment as an individual promontory.

The podium element is envisaged as a civic-scaling device that responds to the each of the newly created adjacent public and pedestrian realms; street, water promenade, laneway. The main body of the tower facing the water reads as a series of continuous folding white balustrades that weave in and out against an undulating glass apartment facade set behind. At both east and west ends a vertical stepped curtain wall of violet glass shimmers in the dawn and dusk light respectively. To the south an apartment stack is appended to the main tower like an outcrop to maximise diffuse light and panoramic views on the shaded side.

The crown of the tower is a series of larger apartments brought together in a pirouetting metallic form that frays and cantilevers toward city, bridge and water. At the base of the tower, the folded white balustrades expand to encompass a greater number of apartments. They begin to cant and distort to create a sculptural presence at ground level. The main entry for the residential tower is a tall and narrow theatrical space winding from front door to lifts.

The journey is punctuated by diversions in crafted timber, such as the entry to a wine cellar on one side. The opposite side, a specially commissioned work by artist Dani Marti lines an undulating wall. This work is the result of an original piece constructed by hand of woven high grade marine rope, a subsequent casting process that led to a rubber mould from which a series of glass reinforced concrete replica panels of extraordinary detail were created.

From an environmental point of view, the overall building achieves a 5 star NatHERS rating. The apartments have been individually rated at between 4.5 and 5 stars. 

Project Partners
John Wardle Architects -Design Architects & Joint Project Delivery
Hassell Architects - Joint Project Delivery

Best Overend Award Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing AIA Victoria
Asia Pacific Property Awards > CNBCarabia