Set across 2.5 hectares on a corner of Melbourne’s CBD grid, the Melbourne Quarter (MQ) precinct is the missing piece of the city puzzle. With new public parks, workplaces, residences, retail and community spaces, MQ will regenerate a previously empty section of the city and bridge the gap between the CBD and Docklands, to extend the city border. Once completed, MQ will be home to 13,000 workers and 3,000 residents.
One Melbourne Quarter (One MQ) by architect Denton Corker Marshall, is the first commercial office tower to be completed in the precinct. The 13 level, 25,000m2 building is a benchmark for leading workplace design. Its centrepiece is Melbourne’s first Sky Park floating 12m above Collins Street.
Arup provided 12 engineering disciplines on One MQ. Our precinct-wide thinking, intelligent use of digital and approach to sustainability and resilience design, delivered complex elements such as the Sky Park while also providing a flexible and modern workplace where employee health and wellbeing is paramount. Our work also set the standard for smart and efficient construction throughout the project.
6 star Green Star rating
1,000m2of green space straddles a main road, 12m above ground
2,500employees from anchor tenants Arup, AMP and Lendlease will call One MQ home
A park in the sky
One MQ opens onto Melbourne’s first Sky Park - one of the most significant public spaces in the central city. Floating 12m above a busy CBD road, we designed the Sky Park – and the deck it sits on – to a level of resilience which far exceeds the typical standards for a commercial property. Our design intelligently considered construction methodology to span across Wurundjeri Way in this extremely challenging site. It resolved the complex constraints of the adjacent tower and the local road authority’s requirements and regulations for the road underneath the deck. Our input was instrumental in gaining planning approval for the overpass and making the Sky Park a reality.
To achieve the Sky Park’s floating appearance while ensuring it has strength and stability to support the structure and One MQ tower, our specialists optimised the design of the diaphragm across the side of the building, transferring the load into the lift and core. Also, by raking the columns over several levels, we avoided the need for major transfer structures, saving significant cost and time on site and retaining the aspiration for a slender, floating aesthetic.
The site’s topography, location, span over Wurundjeri Way and live rail to the east were some of the early challenges to overcome. Our design for One Melbourne Quarter was efficient and buildable and dealt with these significant complexities. ”Richard Salter Melbourne Structures Leader
To realise the elegant, freestanding double helix spiral staircase, rising 12m from ground level, Arup’s rigorous fully parametric analysis enabled a design that satisfied vibration requirements and seamless integration with the Sky Park above and the plaza below. Our design considered a multitude of practicalities, kept steel tonnage low, enabled efficient fabrication, welding and lifting onto site.
Future-prepared with precinct wide thinking
Our precinct servicing study identified that the entire MQ site could be better provisioned for future change and utility connections reduced, by centralising fire services, domestic cold water and communications. Integral to future-proofing was identifying technology demands for the precinct-wide security system, and design of connections to serve future stages of the Sky Park. Our work opened One MQ up to the wider precinct, enabling each building to operate as one entity, or come together to work in harmony when required.
Arup led the design for the base building and explored a multitude of options which have been adopted into the design – including structural options, central plant opportunities, parametric shading design, extensive solar power generation, NABERS improvements, high density co-working impacts and mobile device security access.
One MQ is a healthy workplace for over 2,500 people, with high levels of amenity, daylight and social connectivity. Our environmentally sustainable design team spearheaded the Green Star, NABERS Energy and NABERS Water ratings for the base building and are also undertaking Green Star, NABERS and WELL ratings for Arup and AMP’s tenancies. This gives us unique insight into the challenges, opportunities and sensitivities of how base building and interior rating tools work together.
Numerous elements were integrated into our design to achieve high sustainability and wellness ratings. One MQ has achieved a 6 star Green Star Design and As-built rating, and in operation is targeting a 5 star NABERS Office Energy base building rating with an aspiration for 5.5 stars in addition to a 4 star Whole Building NABERS Water rating in operation. Further, the Arup tenancy is also targeting 6 star Green Star Interiors, 5 star NABERS Energy and Gold WELL Interiors and Carbon Neutrality.
Meeting low energy targets
As part of the 6 star Green Star pathway and to push the building’s performance towards 5.5 star NABERS Energy, Arup prioritised passive design features including a high performance façade with optimised shading, insulated curtain wall spandrels, thermally broken double glazing, motorized internal blinds and an air tight building envelope. The project’s highly efficient, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and lighting is then supplemented with a 201 kW PV array, optimised to maximise the yield from the building’s limited roof space, which is one of the largest PV arrays in Melbourne’s CBD and will provide more than 10% of the base building’s energy consumption.
The Green Star rating was embedded in our design process and has been delivered efficiently and effectively. Nearly all the points for the Design Review were awarded at Round 1. ”Nick Adams Melbourne Building Services Leader
Reducing waste during fitout
We helped minimise the need for tenants to remove and re-do their fit out through the life cycle assessment driven material strategy with significant use of third party certified sustainable materials, climate change ready design, tenant engagement strategy including fitout guidance and pre / post occupancy surveys.
Bringing benefits through digital
By designing in a real-time digital environment, using a combination of BIM, 3D scanning, virtual reality and photo capture technology, we built up intelligence and detail to a new industry standard and achieved efficient integration with stakeholders. Through our embedded digital approach, we took the entire project team seamlessly from design to fabrication to manufacture, facilitated efficient construction and created tools which will aid tenants into the future.
Arup managed the entire BIM process – setting protocols for both internal Arup BIM clash checking and approvals, and the architectural and façade BIM protocols. Our work enabled successful handover to the builder and subcontractor for further external BIM management during the construction process, enabling optimised operations and construction across the entire building.
Key in achieving the maximum value from digital was having all project partners actively engaged in the digital process. They were willing to invest time and effort into an integrated digital approach and were aligned with a digital vision for One MQ, which enabled our team to embrace its full potential. ”Joseph Correnza Principal | Australasian Board
Using virtual reality, we provided the broader project teams and clients with an immersive environment to explore both the building and the design. This interactive approach helped foster co-creation and incubation of ideas.
Aiding tenants into the future
During and after construction, our ability to capture a tenancy in photographs and publish them in a similar way to Google Street View, enables useful information such as offices, meeting rooms and staff locations to be tagged. Being able to interact with the space in this way makes wayfinding more efficient for staff and visitors.