Melbourne under construction - a decade ago

What was appearing across Melbourne's skyline a decade ago?

There certainly wasn't the stupendous number of high-rise towers or low-rise apartment apartment buildings at construction relative to today, but nonetheless a robust construction sector was churning out a respectable number of new and interesting projects.

See below a retrospective construction overview at this corresponding period a decade ago.


Docklands was a hive of construction activity, and still is.

The then National Foods had its new headquarters taking shape at 737 Bourke Street whilst AXA Australia's adjoining campus-style development at 750 Collins Street was nearing construction completion. It's fair to say that upon completion neither were aesthetically astonishing buildings.

Victoria Harbour also kept construction rolling in the latter stages of 2007; the most notable build was ANZ's new global headquarters at 833 Collins Street. In a nice piece of symmetry their new tower adjoining 833 Collins Street is at roughly the same level of construction a decade later.

Digital Harbour was also tasting construction with then contractor Baulderstone working on the modest Life.Lab building. It feels like preciously little has occurred within Digital Harbour since.

Inner city

Some key projects were on the go in inner Melbourne during late 2007, and none were more noteworthy than the expansion of 'Jeff's Shed.' Once more, a decade later and another expansion of the complex is in progress.

The MECC expansion during 2007.

Neo 200 was nearing construction completion, thus taking its place as one of the CBD's early residential towers; how residential living through the CBD has flourished since. Multiplex was pushing through with the dual-towered commercial-oriented CBW development fronting Bourke and William, with 79,500sqm on its way to being delivered.

A sought after Melbourne address in the making.

Salta was also working on what would become one of Melbourne's most sought after addresses, namely 150 Clarendon Street in East Melbourne.

A St Kilda Road marvel

The curves that made Balencia an eventual award-winning design were nowhere to be seen during 2007; the Sunland Group/Pellicano Group joint venture's core was barely above ground.

In time it too would become one of Melbourne's most sought after addresses. Post its completion, Balencia would go on to win awards such as The Australian Institute of Architects Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing for the year 2009.

Construction and the finished product. Image: RealestateVIEW.

South Yarra in vogue

Much can change in a decade in South Yarra. After a period of inactivity, 2007 witnessed works begin in earnest on South Yarra's premier development site. 

It would become Vogue South Yarra, the suburb's tallest, and it still remains so. That mantle though will in time go to Capitol Grand which is on its way to becoming suburban Melbourne's tallest at 50 levels and 178 metres.

Vogue and a render of its successor, Capitoal Grand. Images: Buchan Group and Multiplex.

Greater Melbourne

A building that would become a contender for the worst in Melbourne for both design and construction longevity began its move upward during late 2007. Brunswick's 108 Union Street is abysmal in just about every way and speaks of a period where design sophistication was not what it is now.

U108 began in earnest during 2007. Image: RealestateVIEW.

Dncaster Hill's Westfield was in the midst of a truly massive construction programme, with only Eastland's expansion matching the project for sheer size in the past decade. Nearby in Box Hill and the Eastern Health building was tasting low-rise expansion; in a sign of how rapidly the design and planning landscape has changed, Epworth Eastern is now pushing for high-rise tower in close proximity to the Eastern Health building.

Closer to the city and The Well in Camberwell was at construction. A decade on and the mixed-use development still remains one of the few major projects to be built in the suburb, with Aerial Camberwell being the obvious exception.

But a few of the cranes utilised on Westfield Doncaster during 2007.

Development & Planning

Friday, February 23, 2018 - 12:00
Construction works will once more resonate within the walls of Pentridge, as developer Shayher Group begins the next stage of the precinct's transformation. Builder Crema Constructions has further diversified away from their typical apartment-based program, now taking on the job of delivering Pentridge Coburg's retail hub building.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Friday, February 2, 2018 - 00:00
Gamuda Land is set to unveil an impressive collection of artwork for the soon to be completed 661 Chapel St development in South Yarra. Andy Dinan, Director of Mars Gallery which is renowned for exhibiting and promoting contemporary Australian artists, has been invited to specially curate the art collection throughout the development; included will be some of Australia’s most collected artists.

Visual Melbourne

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 12:00
The various spaces and elements which combine to form RMIT's New Academic Street (NAS) have progressively begun to open to students and visitors alike. I was recently fortunate enough to be part of an informal group tour through the completed spaces within NAS, led by Harrison and White which had a hand in the project.

Transport & Design

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 07:01
As part of its $88 million redevelopment, the State Library of Victoria (SLV) is providing Victorian apprentices, trainees and cadets with the opportunity to help with its transformation as part of its Vision 2020. The expansive project will create additional space for public use, restore and reopen the Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, and reinstate the historic Russell Street entrance.

Sustainability & Environment

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 12:00
One of the world’s more unique International design competitions - The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) 2018 - has come to Melbourne. Sponsored by the State Government of Victoria, the competition opened in early January but was officially launched on Saturday, Feb 10 th as part of the Sustainable Living Festival, Melbourne.