From the imaginative brushstrokes of one of Australia’s preeminent architects, the vision of a majestic 42-storey residential tower began to take shape. Fast-forward several years and the Conservatory, as it is known, now gracefully stands on Mackenzie Street overlooking prime landmarks in Melbourne’s CBD, including the world-heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.
Completed in September 2018 by HIA member Hickory Group, the apartment complex was purposefully designed by Cox Architecture to complement the neighbouring gardens, its sculptural form configured to secure unencumbered views for a maximum number of units.
‘The original design was actually done by Philip Cox himself by water paint,’ says Michael Zachariou, project manager for Hickory Group. ‘It was intended to blend in with, and take a lot of inspiration from, the Carlton Gardens next door.’
A connection to nature served as a guiding principle in the formation of the building’s amenities, popping up in communal spaces, such as the ground floor lobby, level six entertainment terrace and the rooftop. The client, international developer UEM Sunrise, imagined idyllic and contemporary high-rise living, inspired by the Wardian case – a glass box that historically protected exotic plants during maritime transportation.
Within these cases, the plants thrived.