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35 Spring Street, Melbourne, Australia

Location: 35 Spring Street, CBD, Melbourne, Australia
Year built: 2017
Architect: Bates Smart

Situated on the far eastern boundary of the Hoddle Grid and opposite the Treasury Gardens, 35 Spring Street is a towering luxury apartment complex. The building’s strong, structural prominence commands attention among the sprawling streets of Melbourne CBD’s Paris end. 

The building’s hallmark is its geometric patterned facade, inspired by the history of the adjacent Flinders Lane where Melbourne’s fashion industry was established in the 1880s. The unique patterns adorning 35 Spring Street’s glass curtain walls⁠—an amalgamation of crisscrossing, rectangular contours⁠—reflect the warping, weaving and layering of fabric. 

Bates Smart

Bates Smart is a historic, multidisciplinary firm, founded in 1853 by Joseph Reed. It’s one of Australia’s oldest and longest-standing architectural companies, with studios in Melbourne and Sydney.

Bates Smart’s design philosophy centres around function, sustainability and longevity. They have worked on multiple commercial, residential, civic, and mixed-use projects, as well as several ‘adaptive reuse’ designs that work to preserve historic architecture. The firm’s staff are skilled in maintaining heritage features of buildings while adapting them for modern use.

The acclaimed company is responsible for several landmark architectural works, including the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne Town Hall, Federation Square, Crown Melbourne and the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital. Accolades include the RAIA Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design and the RAIA National Award for Interior Architecture.

With perfectly proportioned scale and as one of the few recent buildings finished properly to the roof, there’s not much to fault about this beauty. The building’s ace location needed a prominent structure, but the nature of Spring St’s heritage also necessitated restraint. The design does rise to the challenge and we really need more of these in our city. – Raghav Goel

Images courtesy of Bates Smart and @melbourneupwards