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A,rchitecture Plaoning Interior Design

McGauran Giannini Soon fty Ltd


ABN 13 006 488 302

10-22 Manton Lane


Melbourne 3000 Australia
Telephone 61 3 9670 1800
Facsimile 61 3 9670 1808
Email: mgs@mgsarchitects com au
www-mgsa rchitects-com,ait

INDEPENDENT URBAN DES!GN ADVICE

? PBOPOSED MIXED USE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT


DIMMEYS SITE _ 140.160 SWAN STREET RICHMOND

December 2010

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Prepared By

Hobert McGauran
B. Arch. (Hons. Melb), B.A. (Fine Arts Melb.), P.D.M. (Melb.), LFRAIA, Architect

DirectoB:
Robert McGauran
B Arch lHonslUM|A
M (Fire Arts)

Eli Giannini
M Amh UFAIA

[rrlK Soon
B Arch (Honsl FBAIA

Chris Jones
I Arch MIA
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CONTENTS

1, Background

2. Strategic Planning Gontext

3. Assessment

4. Documents forming the basis of the report

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MGS Architects
1. BACKGBOUND

iurthei'to my earlier report in April 2010 and subsequent advice regarding alternative treatments I have
been requested by the City of Yarra to review the proposal for a mixed use redevelopment 0f the
Dimmeys site at 140-'160 Swan Street, where it falls within my areas of expertise.
I have specifically been asked to comment on the proposal having regard for state and local planning
policy provisions of the Yarra Planning Scheme as they relate t0:
. The appropriateness of the design treatment of the proposed development and its streetscape
lmpact
. Siting, bulk and height of the proposed building and its impact
. Does the proposal achieve a high architectural and urban design 0utcome
. lnternal Amenity

Declaration of interest
I have in the past provided representation for the owner of the subject property for a retail development
in Tecoma in 2009, I have no ongoing relationship of any kind with the applicant or owner.

2. STBATEGIC PLANNING CONTEXT

2.1 State Planning Policy


. Clause 11 and Melbourne 2030 encourages more lntensive development in Activity Centres
incorporating regard for Melbourne @ 5miltion. lt outlines a vision for the sustainable growth of
Melbourne for the next 30 years.

. Clause 11.01 relates to 'Activity Centres'- lt seeks to:


> Encourage a diversity of housing types at higher densities in and around activity centres.
> Reduce the number of private motorised trips by concentrating activities that generate high
numbers of (non-freight) trips in highly accessible activity centres.
> lmprove access by walking, cycling and public transport to services and facilities for local and
regional populations.
> Broaden the mix of uses in activity centres to include a range of services over longer hours
appropriate to the type of centre and needs of the population served,
> Provide a focus for business, shopping, working, leisure and community facilitie's.
> Encourage economic activity and business synergtes.

€;
. Clause 11.04 Metropolitan Melbourne seeks to establish a hierarchy of centres and to provide
targeted new housing within these centres. Within MAC's like Bay Street the SPPF seeks to:
> Have a mix of activities that generate high number of trips including business, retail, services
and entertainment.
> Are well served by multiple public transport routes and are on the Principal Public Transport
Network or capable of linking to that network.
> Have the potential t0 grow and support intensive housing developments without conflicting
with surrounding land-uses.
> Encourage Major Activity Centres with good public transport links to grow in preference to
. other centres with poor- public transport !inks serving the same catchment.

. Glause 15 Built Environment and Heritage - notably 15.01 Urban Design - encourages
development "To achieve arch[tectural and urban design outcones that contribute positively to local
urban character and enhance the public realm while mininising detrinentd impact on neighbouring
propefties."

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Policy guidelines to consider where relevant include:
> Design Guidelines for Higher Density Hesidential Development (Department of Sustainability
and Environment, 2004) in assessing the design and built form of residential development of
four or more storeys.
> Activity Centre Design Guidelines (Department of Sustainability and Environment, 200b) in
preparing activity centre structure plans and in assessing the design and built form of new
development in activity centres.
> Safer Design Guidelines for Victoria (Crime Prevention Victoria and Department of
Sustainability and Environment, 2005) in assessing the design and built form of new
development.
> Urban Design Charter for Victoria (Department of Planning and Community Development 200g).

' Clause 16 Housing, encourages housing in and around activity centres and the prioritising of
opportunities in these areas for intensification of housing- More generally it looks to creating
housing diversity and increased housing in established areas that respects neighbourhood character,
more effectively utilises existing infrastructure and adds housing diversity. lmportantly it seeks to
) lncrease the supply of housing in existing urban areas by facilitating increased housing yield in
appropriate locations, including under-utilised urban.land.

. Clause 17 encourages economic development ol Activity Centres to build employment and


commercial opportunities.

n Glause 18 Transport, encourages solutions that 'ensure an integrateci anci sustainable transport
system that provides access t0 social and economic opportunities, facilitates economic prosperity,
contributes to environmental sustainability, coordinates reliable movements of people and goods,
and is safe.

integrate planning for bicycle travel with land use and development planning and to encourage
cycling as an alternative mode of travel.

. GIause 19.01 Promotes renewable energy use in development. Clause'lg-03-0S seeks to


minimise waste and encourages recycling.

Melbourne 2Gl0 : A Planning Update - Melbourne @ 5 Million acknowledges the higher than
anticipated growth of the city directs that obliges established areas are to accommodate 53 per cent
of new dwellings.

a State of the Environment Report - Victoria 2008.


a Higher Density Residential Guidelines
a Safety by Design Guidelines

2.2 local Planning Policy


The following clauses in the MSS are relevant to this application:
c Clause 2f .05-1 Element 1: Urban Design Franiework
. Clause 21.05-2 Element 2: Besidential Land Use and Development

The site is not a designated 'strategic Redevelopmenl Site' on the Residential Land Use and
Development Framework Plan, but given its scale presents a significant development opportunity.

. Glause 22.-3 Landmarks and Tall Structures: The Dimmeys clock tower is identified as one of B
landmark structures with the policy aiming t0 protect key views to these iconic skyline elements.

MGS Architeats
o Clause D.-10 - Built Form and Design Policy _

This policy seeks to ensure that the resolution of new buildings limits their impact on the amenity of
surrounding land, lt also seeks t0 ensure new development makes a positive contribution to the
streetscape through high standards in architecture and urban design- The policy comprises nine
design objectives to guide the assessment of built form:
> The lnner Melbourne Action Plan
> Economic Development Strategy (2009)

> Cremorne and Church Street Precinct Urban Design Framework (2007)
> East Richmond Station - Access and Amenity lmprovements (200g)

23 Policy Summary
As noted in my earlier report, the planning policy mainly emphasizes.
' A significantly higher than previously forecast population projection for metropolitan Melbourne.
' A significantly higher groMh than previously anticipated for the established urban areas then that
envisaged when Melbourne 2030 was released inZ00Z.
' ln this context (and even in the earlier forecasts for both the City and Municipality), the PAC's and
MAC's, as established in Melbourne 2030 have an important capacity function,
. With the policy announcement of the new government that new development out of centres along
tram routes will be discouraged, there is an argument that even greater intensification should be
anticipated for Activity Centre areas-
' The facilitation of a "more compact city" is best achieved by encouraging employment, commercial
activity, housing and community groMh in and at the edge of these activity centres thereby
enhancing their dynamism and effective utilisation of existing infrastructure.
' The mixed-use, public transport rich zones such as this area favoured location in strategic planning
policy terms for these objectives to be achieved.
. The heritage overlays existing over the Swan Street streetscape and the individual state listed
heritage significance of the building will impose some constraints on developmenl over and above
what might typically be envisaged on a site of this scale and location.

Typically this will mean that:


' lmpacts on the public realm via eithervisual bulk or height will be significantly mitigated.
' Built form changes will need to respond to the significance of and desired legibility of key landmark
features of the building, notably the tower form and streetscape facades when seen from

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surrounding streets, key vantage points and spaces.
. Notwithstanding, a significant number of successful precedents exist within the municipality where
utilisation of heritage fabric and modest change have been accommodated whilst preserving the
valued attributes of the place. Examples within the municipality include redevelopment of much of
the Foy and Gibson complex and the Bryant and May site.
' Local policy and more recent strategic Planning initiatives such as Cremorne UDF have continued to
proactively direct significant change into preferred locations such as the Cremorne and East
Bichmond precinct.
o The site's location relative to shops, services and public transport underscore its locational
credentials for higher intensity development. In this context it should be widely acknowledged that
the site is underutilised in its presentform. Subjectto a satisfactory design response acknowledging
its heritage credentials, it should be deveioped rnore intemively if Melbourne 2030 principles are to
be achieved.
o The immediate context has been one where modest chanQes and intensification have occurred.
More significant change has occurred in Cremorne, in the former industrial areas along Church
Street south and to the eastern end of Swan Street and in the area between Coppin Street and
Hoddle Street south where large scale warehouse conversions or brownfields redevelopment has
occurred.

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. An issues and opportunities paper for, the Swan Street Structure Plan prepared by David Lock and
Associates is presently out for public consultation. Dimmeys is identified as a key iconic complex
within this plan.

2.4 Zoning
The Site is within a Business 1Zone.

2.5 Overlays
The Site is affected by a Heritage Overlay H0335 for the Swan Street Retail Precinct and is individually
of local (H0360) and State Heritage (H21 84) significance.

2.6 0ther Relevant Provisions


. Clause 52.06 Car Parking
. Clause 52.34 Bicycle Facilities
Clause 52.35 Urban Context Beport and Design Hesponse for Residential Development for Four or
More Storeys
. Clause 52.36 lntegrated Public Transport Planning
) . Clause 65 Decision Guidelines
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3. ASSESSMENT

The project is now configured with 2 basement levels of car parking (in lieu of 3) - the lowest for
residential carparking for 100 cars, along with 35 bike spaces (25 resident and l0 visitor), with direct
access to Byron Street and the upper level for commercial parking for 74 car spaces and B bike spaces
inclusive of a residential bin area, trolley bay areas and lift and travelator access to the retail level.
The retail ground floor level now incorporates 2 separate retail tenancies a larger tenancy of 2168
-
sqm. and a srnaller 423 sqm, corner tenancy: The absence of separate access and back of house areas
would suggest that this is a related tenancy (liquor store or similar being conventional partners for
supermarkets).
The access to upper level residential areas is via a glazed gallery entrance down the Byron Street
alignment from Swan Street and also from an entrance: at the iear or south end of the Green street
frontage.
. The first floor incorporates 15 warehouse style loft apartments, 2 sguth end
apartments reflecting the footprint of the oval tower over, community facilities for the

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project and office/amenities for the lower level major supermarket, linked by a lift.
The Plant area for the supermarket is located to the south of Apartment 1.01 and .l.02.
. Level 2 incorporates the upper levels of 2 apartments 11.10 and 11.12 to the north-
western end of the site and an eastem wing of 5 x 2 level townhouse style units 3.06
to 3.10 and 5 x 1 bedroom units 3.11 to 3,15. The ovaltower footprint incorporates a
further 7 units with the primary lift core to the Byron Street interface. Setbacks to
each frontage are modest, with the setbacks to Green Street 2.54m., Swan Street
3.62m. and Byron Street 2.0ZSn.
. At levels 4 to '10
, I apartments occupy the oval tower.

A ficuiew oi the Schenre


. The site is an appropriate one forthe inclusion of higherdensity housing above ground level retail. lt
enjoys close proximity to diverse fixed rail public transport and many of the key venues and
attractions in Melbourne.
. ln general terms I am satisfied that the layout of units provide for a reasonable level of amenity for
occupants. The exceptions are as follows:
a.Juxtaposition between units of less than gm., such as between 3.16 and 3.15

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b. The interface of units 1.01 and 1.02 with the proposed Equipment area to their
immediate south
c. The juxtaposition of Unit 1.i 7
with the plant room area to the east
Becommendations
1. Delete Unit 1.01, incorporating this area into the adjacent office amenity zone.
2. Provide a suitably configured acoustic barrier and acoustic window and wall treatments between the
south facing windows 0f Unit 1.02 and the adjacent equipment area and the eastern facing windows
and doors of Unit 1.17 with the adjacent equipnent plant area.
2. I am satisfied that the proposed restoration works to the Swan Street elevation and to the
clocktower will enhance the resilience and long-term sustainability of these heritage elements and
appear to be consistent in their approach with good heritage practice.
3. Similarly, the proposed extensions and treatmen.t t0 the Byron Street heritage fabric and the
proposed rear podium extensian, incorporating a major graphic image to the railway line inteiace in
particular is one that borrows from the mural treatments adopted for Green Street in a clntemporary
way and is meritorious in its approach
4. The separation of loading and plant area zones from the original rear facade graphics has enhanced
visibility of these areas.
5. 'The configuration of entries and the provision of supermarket access and access to parking
r) proximate to residential entrances and delivering access to the street frontage means that the
ground floor retail facility will provide a valuable parking resource not only for the site itself but for
the broader retail precinct. This embedding of car parking fotr commercial use under part of the site
is a strategically valuable inclusion within the Swan Street context and its incorpdration into an
extended-hour. facility such as a supermarket will ensure that princifles of safety by design are
achieved.
6. I am generally satisfied that residential and retail entrances have been satisfactorily handted.

The appropriateness oI the design treatment ol the proposed building and its streetscape

:'i::l satisfied that whilst visible, the siting of the above podium tower form is tocated and
configured in a form that enables key views to the Dimmeys tower and the legibility of the historic
built form to remain lgg&le
. The removal of a level off the tower in combination with its reconfiguration has resulted in a solution
that I believe is satisfactory in the built form context.
. The adoption fi"T[ffid form has created a contrast between the existing historic rectilinear
podium form and the language of the new building that has generally resulted in convincing solution.
. The photomontagqs provided by the applicant confirm that the location of the tower form is such
that it does not unreasonably impact on the legibility of the juxtaposition of the Dimmeys Tower and
podium or the '19'h and early 20'n century key streetscape views.

Layout and Amenity


The proposed conversion of the first floor areas for a perimeter zone of lofts or warehouse shells and a
central zone accommodating communal facilities is supported.
. Similarly, the inclusion of a new edge treatment to the rail reserve incorporating an integrated
graphic and the inclusion of a fringe of apartments set back from this edge above ai level 1 is also
. ,. supported
o The proposed streeiscape expression in Green and Byron Streets of these edges as well as the
railway reserve is well handled.
. The amendments t0 form openings in the Byron Street frontage clearly acknowledge arched
fenestration attributes of the main facade without absolutely mimicking them. As a secondary
streetscape I believe this approach is acceptable.

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. ln my earlier report I noted that the typological model that I would advocate in this context is one
more consistent with applying to the Foy & Gibson Precinct. The context is not one in which there
has been widespread use of tower forms in conjunction r,rrith a heritage streetscape, Bridge Hoad
west is where such an approach has been widely used and formed part of both council strategy and
character for the precinct. The same cannot be said in this instance- ln response to this concern the
designer has reduced the footprint of the upper level form, lowered the height and increased
setbacks form the Dimmeys tower and street frontage. The methodology is similar in response to
that which has been adopted for some of more prominent inner city developments such as the
Herald and Weekly Times complex, the Drill Hall development (Designed by our firm in Victoria
Street. Melbourne), a number of the Paris-End Collins Street redevelopments and on for example, the
proposed Smith St Banco development. The approach has been as I understand it approved by
Heritage Victoria. I am satisfied that the work and revision undertaken by the applicant justifies
support of the revised development. They have been careful to acknowledge the key views in their
positioning and scaling ofform and have developed a design solution that has adopted a form that is
considered from all aspects and varies in its view. Whilst seen it is.acknowledged that it occupies
one of the larger sites in the immediate local and sits behind the street wall of heritage buildings.

] whether the proposal achieves a high architecturat and urban design outcome
t ln a strategic sense, adaptive use of the ground floor for a supermarket. inclusion of a large scale car
parking footprint beneath and activation and enhancement of podiums in Green Street, Byron Street NOTH' N6
and to the railway reserve, are all meritorious. RF
The restoration of some highly regarded facade and tower elements seen within the Swan Street MERITOT
context and associated with Dimmeys is also supported. The adaptive re-use of the first floor is 'T.'--wtr_]R
similarly consistent with such an approach.
The inclusion of an integrated art strategy for the south wall is supported. I note that the proposal
also considers the existing commissioned artwork on the eastern wall.
Becommendations
The management of this existing aft mural installation to the Green Street elevation shoutd be
protected via a management plan (ta the approval
of the responsible authority) through the
construction works and should be the subject of a permit condition ensuring that the work is
pratected and made good on completion.
The ESD report prepared by GIW notes a number of ESD inittatives that when combined result in
development of acceptable standards. I would however recommend the inctusion of shortlerm bike
racks within the streetscape zone, in pafticular to the Swan Street frontage and adjacent the Green
Street residential entry for visitors to the complex. The placement 0f these racks should be to the

&) satisfaction of the responsible authority.


I note the report from MEL Consulting indicates that the design measures adopted have resulted in
the retention of high comfart levels for pedestrians at each of the street interfaces.
1vershadowing impacts are noted to the adjacent residential developments to the south east and
s1uth west in the afternoon and morning respectively. I am of the view that.these impacts are not
..--^^^^-^Lt-
Ul ll EdSIll ltillle

lnternal amenity
The internal amenity is generally acceptable. Most corridors have at least one area open to an external
window with the main entry to the Byron Street frontage having a generously scaled lobby to each
tower levei, enjoying views to the street and exterior. Hattway *idthi grnrrrlly excee,J i.Bm. hence,
with the eiception of the units luxtaposed with the supermarket plant area the outcome is acceptable.
The plant area will require specific considerations for all units interfacing with this zone to ensure
reasonable standards of amenity are not compromised.
I am not in receipt of the acoustic report but see this resolution as an essential issue to address for all
eastern wln0 apartments (1.l.0'l-11.02,3.12-3.17,4.07-4.09, etc.). lf rhis rs not specifically addressed in

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this report it will be necessary to do so. lt will similarly be important to ensure this plan does not
impact on the amenity of neighbouring residential properties.
Simila.rlv, screening will be necessary between Apartment 3 15, Unit 3-16 and units such as 4.08 over.
Recommendation
Screening is to be provided between Apaftment 3.15 and 3.14 and adjacent elevate tlwer units to the
east s0 that overlooking is avoided to private lpen space and habitable rooms within gm.

Stafl Areas
Accesstothestaff arealofticeforthecommercialtenancyisviaaliftbutnotstairs. This seemstobe
an unfortunate and impractical outcome. lt is recommended that a stair be incorporated in conjunction
with a lift to rhis area.
Access to the staff area via the adjacent residential area is not supported. This should be for
emergency use only if necessary at all. lt would be desirable to provide this area with direct egress t0
the street without traversing an otherwise unrelated residential area. This would appear to be possible
through the inclusion of a stair down to the BOH area below south of the retail tenancy wall.
Becommendation
Provide stdir as well as lift access from the retail tenancy to staff areas over.

Salety and Security


The indented laneway linking the Retail B0H area t0 Green street is currently unsecured. The inclusion
of a security gate t0 this area to prevent the creation of areas of concealment would be desirable.
Becommendation
lncorporate an luter gate to the eastern walkway from the fretail B1H ta Green Street t0 avoid
o pportu n
iti es f o r conce a lment.

4, DOCUMENTS FORMING THE BASIS OF THE REPOBT

Architectural Drawings - Armsby Architects - November 2010


. Drawing No. TPl0l -Site Plan . Drawing No. TP507 - South + West Elevation
. Drawing No. TPl02 - Basement 2 Plan
o Drawing No. TP103 - Basement 'l Plan . Drawing No. TPI50 - Basement 2 Plan
o Drawing No. TPl04-Ground FloorPlan . Drawing No. TP151 - Basement 1 Plan
. . Drawing No. TPl 05 - First Floor Level 2 Plan . Drawing No. TPl52 - Ground Floor Level 1 Plan
. Drawing No. TPI 06 - Second Floor Level 3 Plan . Drawing No. TP'I53 - First Floor Level 2 Plan
. Drawing No. TP l07 - Typical Fourth-Seventh Floors Plan o Drawing No. TPI 54 - Second Floor Level 3 Plan

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o Drawing No. TPl08 - Fourth Floor Level 5 Plan o Drawing No. TPl 55 - Third Floor Level 4 Plan
o Drawing No, TPl 09 - Fifth Floor Level 6 Plan o Drawing N0. TPI 56 - Fourth Floor Level 5 Plan
. Drawing No. TPI 0 - Sixth Floor Level 7 Plan
1 i . Drawing No. TP157-Fifth FloorLevel 6 Plan
. Drawing No. TPl l 1 - Seventh Floor Level 8 Plan o Drawing N0. TPl58 - Sixth Floor Level 7 Plan
. Drawing No. TPl 12 - Eighth Floor Level 9 Plan . Drawing No. TPl59 - Seventh Floor Level 8 Plan
o Drawing No. TPl 13 - Ninth Floor Level l0 Plan o Drawing No. TPl60 - Eighth Floor level g PIan
. Drawing No. TP'l 14 - Boof Level 1 Plan 1 r Drawing No. TPl6'l - Ninth Floor Level 10 Plan
. Drawing No. TPl 62 - Boof Level 1 1 Plan
- Dr"wing N0. TP20'l - North + East Elevations . .
o Drawing N0. TP202 - South + West Elevations . Drawing No. TP203- North Elevation
. Drawing No. TP204 - East Elevation
o Drawing No. TP301 - Sections A+B o Drawing No. TP205- South Elevation
. Drawing No. TP302-Sections C+D o Drawing N0. TP206 -West Elevation

. Drawin0 No TP501 -Site Survery Ground Floor r ,Drawing No. 1P303 - Section A
. D'awirrg No. fp501 _ Site Survey First Floor . Drawing No TP304 - Section B
. Drawing No. TP503 - Ground Demolition Plan o Drawing No. TPll{}S - Section C
. Drawing No. TP504 - First Demolition Plan o Drawing No. TP306-Section D
. Drawing No. TP505- Hoof Demolition Plan . Drawing No. TP307 - Sightlines
. Drawing No. TP506 - North + East Elevation r Drawing No. TP308 - Sightlines.

MGS Architects
a Urban Context Report - - November 2010
Armsby Architects
a ESD Beport -
GIW Environmental Solutions - November 2010
a Enr.,ironmental Wind Assessment - MEL Consultants - November 2010
a Proposed Artwork Concept Dimmeys South Facade - Ralf Kempken Stencils & Screens
- September
2010
a Planning Beport - Planned FX - December 2010
a Landscape Concept Plan - Harrietie Conway - November 20'10

Dated: December 2010

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