Melbourne Connect (MC) is envisaged by the University of Melbourne and its industry partners as Australia’s largest innovation hub. MC – on the site of the former Royal Women’s Hospital in Carlton – is the location for the Melbourne School of Engineering, the Science Gallery Melbourne and various engagement spaces in an integrated technology precinct. MC will co-locate more than 2000 leaders from research and education, larger multinationals and SMEs, government and the creative communities.
The precinct comprises 50,000 sqm of laboratories, offices, co-working and event spaces, and the project is targeting a 6-star Green Star, 5-star NABERS rating. It includes the adaptive re-use of the 12-storey former 3AW Tower including partial demolition of the structure and façade, and significant hazardous material removal, as well as construction of four additional levels, two new lift cores, a new ‘agile’ façade, new building services, and public realm works.
Root Partnerships provided project management services for the schematic design and design development phases of the project. We coordinated the design for a complex project within a tight program, formulated a master project program, composed project briefs, procured consultant services, facilitated user group testing of the design, and coordinated and managed the consultant design team. We were also project manager and superintendent for the enabling and demolition works, service disconnections and hazardous material removal.
The project involved the adaptive re-use of a significant portion of the existing 3AW Tower – posing significant challenges to achieving contemporary commercial office design standards as well as setting ambitious ESD targets. The removal of hazardous material from the three buildings under demolition was the most significant hazmat project at the time in Victoria.