The new Quest Apartments on the corner of Pakenham and Short Streets have been subject to more than their fair share of criticism from some quarters, primarily on the height of the finished building. The facts are that the original application proposed significant demolition of much of the original 1929 warehouse, leaving little but the facade; done primarily to keep within the Planning Scheme as-of-right height limits. After discussions with the City’s heritage department the applicant returned with a proposal that maintained the important heritage structure through adaptive reuse. This was a far superior heritage outcome, and resulted in a higher building. We cannot sacrifice good heritage outcomes on the alter of height.
The interesting artwork on the building was funded from the %-for-Art scheme; and is a direct reference to Manning Folly which preceded the Lysaght Warehouse on the site. Manning was a keen astronomer and had a rooftop observatory. Check out glass supplier Cooling Brothers blog for an interesting piece on the history with pics.