Melbourne under construction in 2005

Is Melbourne a boom city? Indeed, but this was also the case during 2005, when the CBD and surrounds well and truly shrugged of the doldrums of the late 1990s with a rash of high-profile projects under construction.

The CBD saw an influx of new commercial space while Southbank capably led by Eureka Tower came into its own for the first time. While dozens of notable residential and commercial builds were underway, important civic projects such as the MCG's Great Northern Stand and the rebirth of Spencer Street Station also aided in giving the Melbourne a renewed vigour.

Here is an overview of what was being built in Melbourne a decade ago.

Commercial in from the cold

The commercial sector was at its peak during 2005

Following years of inactivity, the commercial sector finally roared back into life with a string of prestigious projects with premium anchor tenants to boot. 2005 delivered 11 Exhibition Street, PwC Australia at 2 Southbank Boulevard and the RACV Centre on Bourke Street.

In the CBD's eastern end Council House 2, Urban Workshop, Southern Cross Tower 1 and 8 Exhibition Street were midway through construction in a surge of commercial activity that has not been matched since. All in all beyond 300,000sqm of commercial space was under construction during 2005, as compared to today where major commercial builds are confined to Collins Quarter in Docklands and PwC Australia's new home at 2 Riverside Quay.

Residential living on the rise

Eureka, Freshwater Place, Victoria Point and Yve

The list of residential towers under construction during 2005 was immense; the sheer number of residential projects truly cemented apartment living as a viable alternative to 'The Australian Dream' in Melbourne for the first time. Docklands and Southbank accounted for many residential projects, with the CBD's time in the sun some years away from fruition.

Premium projects that are considered landmarks today which were under construction during 2005 included Eureka Tower, its neighbour Feshwater Place and Yve on St Kilda Road; the latter would later win the Victorian Architecture Medal at the 2006 Royal Institute of Architects awards.

A notable mention also goes to Royal Domain Tower which not only became (and remains) St Kilda Road's tallest addition during 2005, but also remains one of the city's most exclusive apartment projects.

Tertiary projects

Brookes Gillsepie House, Monash Caulfield and Swinburne's Hawthorn expansion

Four notable projects were on the go over the course of 2005. Brookes Gillespie House and Melbourne University's Eastern Precinct created hundreds of new student apartments in Carlton, although the quality of architecture for both was more than debatable.

Swinburne created dual buildings, aptly named x_change @ Swinburne which would be precursors to multiple new builds at the Hawthorn campus in the proceeding years to come. Monash University's Caulfield campus also delivered two new builds during 2005, considered the first buildings within the 'Western Precinct' that has seen many proposals since, but little construction thereafter.

Ancillary builds

MCG, health projects and Southern Cross Station

Some other memorable projects are approaching their tenth anniversary. Southern Cross Station and the MCG's Northern Stand are the most recognisable; construction of both projects was stretched over a number of years in order to keep both facilities operating during their builds.

Lesser heralded medical projects also features during 2005 with the massive Austin and Mercy Hospital in Heidelberg reaching completion under the guidance of then contractor Baulderstone Hornibrook. Closer to the CBD and Baulderstone Hornibrook also undertook construction of The Alfred Centre, with initial works commencing during 2005.

In years to come the famed Baulderstone Hornibrook name would disappear, yet their legacy remains as do the many builds of 2005, which in many ways are the precursor to the boom times in construction that Melbourne enjoys today.


Development & Planning

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 00:00
City of Port Phillip will this week indicate that it has sufficient reason to object to two pending projects in Port Melbourne. 17 Rocklea Drive and 365-391 Plummer Street are both within the Wirraway Precinct of Fishermans Bend, and both projects are under the authority of the Minister for Planning.

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.

Visual Melbourne

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.


Transport & Design

Saturday, December 9, 2017 - 00:00
Spring Street has released details of a large shutdown of the Pakenham/Cranbourne and Frankston lines which will allow workers to complete major upgrades to the rail infrastructure. The work is required to allow for the introduction of the new High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMTs) and will involve upgrading power & catenary, signalling and communications equipment in the Dandenong (Pakenham/Cranbourne) corridor.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
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.