The Age Building

New The Age building unveiled

The Age Building: The Age has raised the curtains of its striking new headquarters: a high-tech, transparent building that will allow pedestrians to catch a glimpse of the excitement and drama of the news.

Prime Minister John Brumby opened a design opening this morning in the basement of The Age at 250 Spencer Street.

The $ 110 million building, due to be completed by the end of 2009, will be located on the corner of Collins and Spencer Streets, at the intersection of the CBD and Docklands.

Ron Walker, chairman of Fairfax Media, publisher of The Age, said the building would strengthen the future of the “heart of the city” role.

It will accommodate more than 1,400 Fairfax Media employees from The Age, Radio 3AW, Fairfax Digital and the Melbourne offices of Australian Financial Review and Business Review Weekly. The high grassy courtyard, the square, the café, the auditorium and the simulated newsletter will encourage people to meet and socialize at the Media House, and give a sense of the urgency of the news.

The Age Building: The north side of the tall, eight-story building is located far beyond Spencer Street, opposite Southern Cross Station and next to the Grand Hotel, about 350 feet along Collins Street.

The building will require a 5-star Green Star rating. The glass facade is protected from the harsh northern sun by shelters and high-quality glass. Solar panels heat water; The air conditioning will run on 100% fresh air and rainwater will be collected and used for irrigation. 

Editorial staff will work on two large, open-plan floors designed to enhance movement and communication and further integrate new and old technology, including print, broadcast and online media. 

A control centre, visible from the street, will accommodate news desk staff, while supporting journalists will be arranged around the core. 

Project designer James Milledge, director of Bates Smart architects, said the interior design was intended to reflect the value of all staff. 

“No one will own a window,” he said, “The narrowness of the building will also let more natural light in. 

“It’s exciting, it’s flexible and modular – so the spaces can be changed easily in the future.”

Fairfax Media chief executive David Kirk said the intention was not to rebuild a newspaper, but to create a digital media headquarters with fibre-optic technology already built-in. Printers and online editors will sit together and make decisions, and video will be an added part of the news.

The Age Building: “We have a wider reach for the entire community … we can access your desktop and your cell phone, your radio, your BlackBerry, your laptop and your iPod – and we can reach out to you with anything that comes,” Mr. Kirk said. . The Melbourne developer Grocon is responsible for the construction, including the extensive support deck on the existing railway lines.

Grocon CEO Daniel Grollo said the construction of the railways had already begun and that negotiations with government stakeholders, including Connex, would promote safe working conditions and minimal train delays. .

This morning’s launch provides an overview of The Age’s 153-year history, including the relocation of printing presses from paper offices to the Tullamarine Center for $ 220 million in 2002.

The Age Building:MC Tony Charlton said the launch is not only an opportunity to remember but also an inspiration.

“This role has been an important part of Victorian life since 1854. . . It is unbelievable how far it has gone since the days of Collins Street, where the rent for the building was £ 500 a year.

Laughter came from behind as images of people typing their stories on typewriters and smoking appeared on the screen.

Guests, including state opposition leader Ted Baillieu, Melbourne Mayor John So and former Age editor Creighton Burns, sat in paper boys in trousers and felt hats. They sat in a former old winch, where large rolls of newspapers about 20 kilometers long were stored. This is a strange situation compared to the computer images of a clear, digitally enhanced “news of the future”: Media House.

The Age Building: And despite the flashing blue lights, the great music in the lounge, and the great video shown at the start downstairs, Age staff didn’t regret moving to 250 Spencer Street.

Technical Services Manager Frank Prain said the building has always been considered “the second worst in Melbourne.”

“Now that the Gas and Fuel Towers have collapsed, it’s the worst.”

Design panels to solve “pig” buildings in Melbourne

The Age Building
The Age Building

The Age Building: According to Deputy Mayor Nicholas Reece, Melbourne has made it possible to build many “pig” buildings, according to which it is time to put an end to the tiled glass towers and monotonous walls, which benefited developers but not the public.

The City of Melbourne last week appointed two panels of 40 designers and developers to assess the architectural benefits and quality of the applications. Reports from the Design Excellence Advisory Committee and the Melbourne Design Review Panel will guide councilors before giving the green light to new developments.

Architect Rory Hyde says the eight-story parking lot in the Neo200 apartment block on the corner of Spencer and Little Bourke streets is a problem.

Architect Rory Hyde says the eight-story parking lot in the Neo200 apartment block on the corner of Spencer and Little Bourke streets is a problem. CREDIT: EDDIE JIM

Councilor Reece said the panels would change the game for Melbourne, which has seen construction progress over the past two decades. “The fact is, we’re building a lot of garbage. We need to improve. We need to build better for a city that’s in COVID recovery mode.”

The panels do not provide an additional layer of finishing or bureaucracy, but offer pragmatic tips for improving applications.

The Age Building: Melbourne is Australia’s most interesting city for architecture and design. opinion

Melbourne city

Melbourne needs to expand its architectural game

Nicholas Reiske

Nicholas Reiske

Deputy Mayor of Melbourne

The Age Building
The Age Building

“We wanted to see the details in the fine grain, not the monotonous glass walls, not the towers without the glass parts, not the sky tables, although that’s a big step forward,” he said. Cr Reece.

“He made huge profits for the developer, but did not return the city in terms of living standards or design standards for the community.”

The panels include Eureka Tower architect Karel Fender and Infrastructure Australia Executive Director Romilly Madew.

Rory Hyde, a panel colleague and architecture professor at Melbourne University, said he was concerned about the proliferation of “low-quality, growth-driven” concrete tilting towers in Melbourne.

“As an architect, it’s shocking and frustrating because Melbourne is a strong architectural city,” he said. “We have many schools for architecture, such as good practice, good history and heritage, and yet we have made it possible to complete low-quality projects in the last 10 or 15 years, and hopefully this is part of the effort to stop it. a little.”

The Age Building: Mr Hyde pointed to the Neo200 building on the corner of Spencer and Little Bourke streets, where an eight-story car park on the road does not allow for a “living” city. He also criticized Southbank City Road, which he described as having “a Hong Kong-level density with a six-lane highway running on it,” with little security for the public.

“Some of these buildings are well designed in themselves, but it’s most of the elements that give the living space a rough aspect,” he said.

Architect Panellid and Monash University Shelley Penn said that even the most advanced architects benefited from the new set of eyes.

Recent developments, including Abode at 318 Russell Street and A’Beckett Tower at 31A A’Beckett Street, have resulted in poor quality results due to several levels of empty parking spaces at the road interface. , poor quality materials and low walls with control panels. . at street level.

The Age Building: Architect Shelley Penn criticized the primary closed street-level facade of the Abode Building at 318 Russell Street. Architect Shelley Penn criticized the primary closed street-level facade of the Abode building at 318 Russell Street. CREDIT: EDDIE JIM

The area around the two buildings is rather “great at night” due to the lost opportunity to have a good rail experience, making it uncomfortable to walk and less safe, he said.

“In Melbourne, we’re a little behind in quality,” he said.  The Age Building: “We used to be a big city for design, but some of the recent changes in the heart of the city are great. The Age Building for people who walk the streets, you have to be happy and safe with your eyes fixed on the road.”

Panelists said examples of CBD’s strong architecture include the QV complex on Swanston Street, the development of Nauru House at 80 Collins Street, Melbourne Connect at 700 Swanston Street, Collins Arch at 447 Collins Street and the Ian Potter Southbank Center for the Melbourne Conservatory of Music. . Panelist and architect Georgia Birks said it was important to criticize and improve the design to suit the way we live in the city.

The panelists described the QV building as an example of solid architecture that includes lanes.

The panelists described the QV building as an example of solid architecture that includes lanes. CREDIT: EDDIE JIM

He said design and architecture should address issues such as climate change, population growth and the coronavirus pandemic, which have all affected Melbourne.

“It’s time to think about how we live and how the design should adapt and respond to everything we go through,” he said. “Activating the street is what brings the atmosphere to the city, and in the end we miss it.”

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