The original structure at 55 Southbank Boulevard was a six-storey commercial building completed in 1989.
Being so close to Melbourne's arts and cultural precinct and land in the area at a premium, WSP was engaged to design a new concept using cross-laminated timber to add ten storeys to the existing building which represents 13,000 m2 of new space.
While investigating the capacity of the building's foundations, we found that the building had been designed to support a further five concrete storeys. Alongside our structures team and a cross-laminated timber specialist, we created a Future Ready solution that used the existing building columns and added two new steel cores to the top of the new structure.
We designed steel beams and columns around the curved section to support the cross laminated timber floor panels and enable larger wall spacing to allow for an uninterrupted view from all corners of the hotel.
Saving time, money and carbon emissions
There were multiple complexities to the Future Ready design and construction of this project that our team had to factor in, including the construction occurring while the floors below were occupied, the existing utilities and services in the building and avoiding adding additional foundation piles.
By using prefabricated cross-laminated timber and adapting an existing building using Circular Economy principles, time and money were saved as well as minimising the environmental impacts associated with demolition and rebuilding.
The building opened in August 2020, with part of the building becoming the Adina Apartment Hotel MelbourneSouthbank.