CBD Model update: Docklands to the fore

Following on from my visual essay on progress throughout Docklands I've again revisited Docklands part of the Urban Melbourne 3D model, in light of all the activity and new proposals which have come through. One or two projects may require updating or are adsent, otherwise the model remains up to date across each precinct.

The model also now features the major proposals along Spencer Street such as Premier Tower and the West Side Place development on the former Age site at 250 Spencer Street, which together with the development at Docklands provide a new face to Melbourne's western CBD.

As touched on in the previous Docklands article, the majority of construction currently occurring within the precinct is concentrated at NewQuay, Victoria Habour and Batman's Hill. Yarra's Edge is also experiencing limited construction activity with the Wharf's Entrance development, consisting of Forge apartments and a series of low-rise townhouses.

Over NewQuay and Harbour Town.

In terms of progress westward toward Bolte Bridge, Yarra's Edge is the most advanced with Voyager, Mirvac's latest and tallest currently at planning, with seemingly only one more tower thereafter which will complete the precinct. NewQuay and Victoria Harbour on the other hand are both approximately halfway through their respective precincts.

It's also evident that Yarra's Edge boasts the tallest crop of apartment buildings due to its position south of the Yarra, however they are still a fraction of the height of Southbank's tallest towers. Victoria Harbour, it could be argued, has the greatest variety in building typology and height, ranging from low-rise campus to high-rise residential towers, in addition to multiple community facilities.

All sub-precincts either are in the process of building or proposing the tallest building within their scope of development, which are also a step up in height for the wider precinct.

Above Yarra's Edge and Victoria Harbour

Of the buildings under construction, ten are purely residential, one a hotel, and three office buildings which are all located within Collins Square. With the exception of the three commercial buildings found within Melbourne Quarter, it is expected that most upcoming development within Docklands will be predominantly residential in nature.

This is largely in keeping with the Melbourne-wide trend, although Digital Harbour for example had never envisaged residential uses until recent years.

CBD and Docklands

Another observation to be made is the gradual knitting of Docklands to the existing built form of the Hoddle Grid; a slow process being helped along with projects such as 664 Collins Street and Melbourne Quarter set to occupy airspace above road and rail environments, essentially bridging the divide between the two.

Lastly I leave you with a render from the Bolte Bridge, which I'll be revisiting as I transfer more of the existing CBD geometry over to the new model.

View from Bolte Bridge.


Adrian's picture

Outstanding work as always Laurence well done.

Be interesting to see what happens with the land on central pier that extends all the way down to the Bolte - is there a recent master plan for this still undeveloped area ? There is so much potential there for a low rise architecture statement akin to some of the Flinders St redevelopment proposals. Let's hope it doesn't just give way to tract apartment development.

Laurence - can you post a larger version of the very first excellent render that encompasses the entire CBD west of Swanston St including the Northern cluster ?

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Laurence Dragomir's picture

Hi Adrian, glad you enjoyed the images. My understanding is the remainder of the peninsula will be called Collins Wharf, with the plan currently being considered. There's an article about it in Docklands News:

As for the lead image, I'll throw in some more of the existing CBD buildings over the course of the weekend and post an updated image on the forum.

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