Banksia is Melbourne Docklands most recent building located on the northern waterfront. The location offered a unique opportunity to bring further diversity and urban legibility to this important urban waterfront precinct. MCR developed Banksia in a new parkland which was worked on in collaboration with Aspect Studios and Stutterheim Anderson Landscape Architecture. The distinct façade was developed to recall the Banksia pod, the biomimicry linking the building metaphorically to the public park in which it sits. This echoing of its natural setting was developed throughout the design of the individual apartments, the foyers, and the unique lounge rooftop of the project. In many ways, the building’s architectural language has been configured in a traditional manner reflecting the great traditional element of architecture, the column, with its base, its middle and its capital. Banksia has a robust colonnade at ground level, a unique repetitive middle and a distinct and playful top.
This Banksia building implemented a range of environmental initiatives to achieve a Green Star rating of 5. The building has been planned with well-designed spaces and strategies that promote healthy and active living. The rooftop level and central park provide a wide range of exercise opportunities. The building also incorporates cyclist facilities and is designed to encourage Melbourne’s evolving transport system. The building has been planned to employ passive design principles to minimise energy use requirements. Through fixed shading and high-performance windows, the façade addresses heat gain, heat loss and acoustic issues of this site. Furthermore, communal spaces use smart sensors to minimise lighting and air conditioning energy when these spaces are not occupied. The extensive use of different Australian timbers promotes and contributes to the process of long-term carbon sequestration of the atmosphere. Finally, Rainwater runoff is also recycled to water tree plantings and garden beds.