Banksia Apartments, NewQuay

McBride Charles Ryan


Banksia is Melbourne Docklands most recent building, located on the northern waterfront of the Docklands. The location offered a unique opportunity to bring further diversity and urban legibility. Banksia is the centerpiece of a new public park.

MCR developed Banksia in a new public parkland, which comprised primarily of local native planting. There is a single level basement carpark underneath the new public park. This allowed the building to have a direct relationship with the park at ground level. The carpark entrance, at Docklands Drive, meant the precinct in and around the apartments was entirely a pedestrian zone. 
This urban scenario called for a distinct architectural response. The building is an extruded oval with the form being important in minimizing the effects of high winds on the public realm. The distinct façade was developed to recall the Banksia pod, the biomimicry linking the building metaphorically to the public park in which it sits. This echoing of its natural setting was developed throughout the interior design of the individual apartments, the foyers, and the unique lounge rooftop of the project. 

Banksia has a robust colonnade at ground level, a unique repetitive middle and a distinct and playful top. The building plan has a rotated core, this device allows all apartments to have both good aspects and natural daylight and ventilation. 

Banksia is distinctly Australian, its design recalls the past landscape and dwellers of this area. Its echoing of the natural setting was developed internally throughout the design of the individual apartments, the foyers, and the unique lounge rooftop of the project. Every level has an artistic interpretation of Australian Indigenous flowers. The high-end interior of Banksia arrays across penthouse, sky-homes and classic apartment iterations that are designed utilising indigenous timbers, such as Victorian Ash and Spotted Gum. Maximum diversity of apartment types was achieved through a choice of four very different schemes multiplied by different apartment types.

Of the 108 apartments over 18 levels, there is a large variety of apartment types from residences, sky homes and penthouse that range in size from 75sq.m. to 315sq.m. The ground level contains the foyer, an F&B outlet and building services. A large portion of the rooftop has been given over to the residents, providing a banksia lounge in the crown of the building with startling views of the docklands harbour.

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