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Melbourne under construction > April 2004

How the face of Melbourne has changed over the last decade, and digital camera technology for that matter. Today will the first in a semi-regular look back at Melbourne's biggest and best projects which were under construction this month 10 years ago.

A selection of 2004's under construction projects that helped reshape Melbourne include:

Southbank hits the heights

The soon to be Melbourne's tallest had just reached its level 55 jump form reconfiguration, on the way to becoming the city's tallest residential tower and subsequently tallest building by year's end. Eureka was ably supported by Australand's Freshwater Place development next door which commenced with PwC's 2 Southbank Boulevard and Freshwater Tower.

Elsewhere Southbank Central was under construction, adding to Central Equity's incredible architectural repertoire... well at least it was a step in the right direction.

PwC, Freshwater Place and Eureka Tower circa 2004

One wasteland for another?

Depending upon who you ask that's what Docklands was in the process of becoming. Southern Cross Station's roof was taking shape while 700 Collins was found guilty for crimes against architecture even before completion. The Conder at Newquay was in its formative stages as was Victoria Point, with Lonsdale Street's chimney still in tact.

Lower left is Watergate Apartments, with V1 Docklands and Victoria Point either side for company. Watergate was arguably the first project to showcase Elenberg Fraser's flair, and of course their trademark bronze facade.

Construction images of 2004

Into the burbs

Mondo Tower was soon to become the tallest tower outside the inner city at 17 levels, and was joined in construction by Foxtel Moonee Ponds... both would subsequently be found guilty of crimes against architecture.

The mammoth Austin and Mercy Heidelberg was still chugging along under Baulderstone's $270 million build contract while the 14 level Barrett Apartments in Hawthorn became that suburb's vanguard development... much would change.

Construction images of 2004

Inner city

The comparatively huge Royal Domain Tower had just broken the car park levels and was into the first floor of apartments while once of Melbourne's signature buildings, Yve, was little more than a twisted mess as site demolition progressed. Demolition was word of the week at the MCG as the world's biggest tower crane (Favelle Favco M2480D) worked above the Northern Stand.

Even in 2005 Hayball has a fascination with precast... some kids never grow up! And Mirvac was continuing with Beacon Cove in Port Melbourne... anyone found any retail in Beacon Cove as yet? Notable mentions to Gateway on Queens Road which at 20 levels was built without a tower crane and Bio21 on Flemington Road. Time has and will continue to be kind to this newly completed ripper from Designinc.

Construction images of 2004

Big city build

2004 in general was a massive year with a clear upswing in apartment living leading to a new rash of apartment projects such as QV, Mondriane, Concept Blue within the CBD along with many others. April 2004 also saw a group of commercial office towers under construction, the first such grouping since the boom and bust of the early 1990's.

380 La Trobe Street was receiving its final touches and Herald Weekly Times was beginning its transformation. 11 Exhibition, Southern Cross, RACV - 501 Bourke Street and Urban Workshop (all pictured below) would add a mass of office space upon completion, while all having sizeable tenant commitments - once bitten, twice shy!

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Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

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Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

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Transport & Design

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 11:00
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Sustainability & Environment

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Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.