One of Southbank’s historic structures, The Robur Tea Building, is in line for a major new addition, with plans for a hotel and high-end apartments.
Also known as Tea House at 28 Clarendon Street, it is included on the Victorian Heritage Register for its scientific, historical, and architectural significance, and dates back to 1887. Developer RJ International hopes to return the building to its former glory, and for the State Government to find their plans for a 39-story tower to be a satisfactory addition to the site. Geelong-based architecture firm CLWA and heritage architects Lovell Chen have undertaken design work on the elliptical tower.
In addition to pre-application discussions with various governing bodies, the project team has also met with the Department of Justice, which owns the adjoining Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, and CitiPower, who maintain a caveat affecting the site; both have given in-principle support for the redevelopment, which would encompass a 2,948-square-meter site occupied in part by the Tea House.
The building would undergo refurbishment, with the southern lift core to be demolished and the original façade reinstated. The refurbishment will also see the historic building altered from a commercial to a multi-purpose structure, encapsulating a retail space on Clarendon Street, hotel lobby, restaurant, function center, and hotel suites within the existing structure.
Meanwhile, the 145-meter tower, which would contain 312 hotel suites, would abut a section of the Tea House's southern façade in order to provide passage between the old and new structures. The tower's ground level is set back 13 to 20 meters from Clarendon Street, with a landscaped forecourt accounting for the remaining space. The existing northern car park will be reworked but maintained for the hotel's principal drop-off zone.
The tower's lower levels will be predominantly clad in tessellated and perforated masonry and concrete screening, effectively shrouding vehicle parking within the podium structure. Amenities crown the podium with further hotel suites and apartments behind black curtain glazing thereafter.
For more on this story, go to Urban Melbourne.