Medibank House, 700 Collins Street

This 13-level tower building at 700 Collins Street in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct was developed by a joint venture between Folkestone and Leighton Properties and constructed by Leighton Contractors.


The tower was developed for commercial uses and provides 50,000 m2 of gross floor area. The net lettable area is approximately 32,100 m2, with a further 1,588 m2 available for retail tenancies. A feature of the building is the large floor areas, varying between 2,260 m2 and 2,630 m2. These deliver greater workspace efficiencies than are possible with conventional office floor sizes, which normally are about half this size. The building also incorporates a 3-level car park below the Collins Street entry level, with capacity for 300 cars.

Leighton Contractors also managed the construction of the office fitouts for the two main tenants – the Bureau of Meteorology and Medibank Private. The Bureau relocated its existing headquarters in Victoria to the new building, occupying seven of the 13 levels. The Bureau’s tenancy is designed to accommodate its highly specialised requirements and to provide improved and cost-effective building services within a smaller area of office space. The building also houses the Bureau’s central computer facility and the National High Performance Computing and Communications Centre, a facility shared between the Bureau and the CSIRO.

Environmental considerations

The building design was one of the latest in environmentally-aware campus architecture and is designed to minimise energy use and provide a natural work environment for staff. Two wintergarden atrium zones provide access to natural light and interfloor connectivity, and provide linkages between the large northern and southern floor plates. The wintergarden zones are also designed to connect to the air conditioning systems for ‘mixed mode’ operation and allow the building to reduce its reliance on air conditioning for heating and cooling by using natural ventilation in mild weather. The building has a four star energy rating and meets VicUrban’s Ecologically Sustainable Development guidelines.

Construction of the building involved extensive piling works, foundations and basement retention structures. The building structure is a reinforced concrete frame with post-tensioned slabs and involved the use of a jump form system to construct the main core. The extensive façade system comprises a combination of glazed curtain wall and glazed precast spandrel panels.