About the project

Conrad Gargett collaborated with Dutch architectural practice, OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architect), for the Southbank by Beulah invited international design competition.

Beulah invited six international architects to develop a vision for their proposed $2billion ‘state-of-the-art’ mixed use development which was to be centred around innovation in architecture and design.

OMA’s and Conrad Gargett’s design proposes a tower stemming from a base that acts as a 24/7 mixed-use vertical city with cultural, commercial, educational and social program elements bound together with the more generic programs of retail, food and beverage. In this vertical city, there are highways of movement through large express escalators, shortcuts by elevators, and laneways to wander on through normal escalators, stairs, and voids. The Base follows the outline of the site and then tapers back to a slab 100m above the city. In this volume, different programs are distributed strategically to create dynamic vertical movement, and are rendered distinguishable from both inside and outside through façade elements of dichroic, polarized, and see-through coloured metal mesh laminated glass.

Open arches at street level, inspired by the Italianate arcades of Melbourne, invite the public into a vertical wonderland of discovery: a sheltered extension of both the street life surrounding the building, and of Melbourne itself. The Base includes the BMW Experience Centre, positioned on the corner of Southbank and City Road.