Melbourne's CBD is set to have a new high-rise, residential tower accented with crystalline balconies and punctuated with gardens. Designed as a vertical street, residents of the tower will be able to enjoy a community garden on every sixth floor, which may be more park space than most urban areas get. Crystal Gardens, designed by CK Designworks, will also feature energy efficient design, rainwater collection and heat reflective glass - all part of an overall sustainability strategy.
The 35 story tower is located on a small (360 sq meter) corner lot in downtown Melbourne and will include ground floor retail, three floors of offices and 154 apartments. Density is balanced in this development with four community gardens (one on every sixth floor) facing north, east, south and west so as to be enjoyable in every season. As the corner location is very prominent, the architects are also exploring solar-powered lighting to make the tower a landmark by lighting it up in the early evening.
Clad in heat reflective glass, Crystal Gardens will minimize solar heat gain, but still enjoy ample daylighting. Each apartment enjoys a faceted balcony, which will give the building the appearance of a sparkling crystal draped in greenery. Rainwater will be collected from the facades and used to water the gardens and flush toilets. Then, to minimize energy usage, the building will feature energy efficient lighting, appliances, and innovative heating, cooling and hot water supply plants located in each garden area.