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A giant fountain in Docklands: could it be the ticket?

Docklands News recently reported on a proposal by company FCT Flames in conjunction with Avant-Garde de Studio to build a 'giant fountain and flame show'. According to the report the fountain and flame show would attract more than five million people to Docklands annually and generate at least $230 million for Victoria's economy every year.

From the Docklands News report:

The fountain, which could also be transformed into a floating performance and event stage, would be located in Victoria Harbour, at the end of Central Pier.

Choreographed to music, the fountain would be programmed to music during the day and flames, pyrotechnics, video projection and lasers could be added at night for an even more awe-inspiring show.

With each show running for around 15 minutes, the fountain could be programmed to run multiple times per day or just a few nights per week.

It could also be programmed to match particular themes or special events.

The populist view of Docklands is one of failure, wind-swept streets, and a lack of reasons for people - other than those who live or work there - to visit. My own view is not necessarily for or against the populist viewpoint, but it does involve various feelings which could be best described as moderate disappointment with a dash of faint positive hope for the future.

We've seen many attraction ideas for Docklands over the years with the most recent prior to the fountain and light show being a wave pool and urban beach at the end of Central Pier. To be frank, Melbourne isn't a beach city.

Sure, the metropolitan area wraps around an enormous body of water, but we're not a surfie city. Likewise the way Melbourne positions itself outside the typical koala, kangaroos and life's-a-surf-beach 'brand Australia' is our greatest strength.

The aspect I like the most with this proposal as reported in Docklands News: it's a robust outdoor space which can be adapted as needed and it would be accessible from multiple precincts within Docklands.

Victoria Harbour, the stadium precinct, Central Pier itself, Newquay and Waterfront City would all benefit from increased visitor activity and the impact on retail and hospitality facilities would have a more profound impact than an enclosed beach and wave pool.

The Docklands news report explores the proposal in more detail including looking at potential residential impacts and I recommend reading it. The video below is linked from the report.

Could this be the ticket for Docklands?

Lead image credit: The Dubai Fountain, Wikipedia.

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5 comments

Melbourne Muse's picture

Absolute winner! Inspired, visionary idea! I would take my family to enjoy that spectacle and recommend it to clients and visitors to Melbourne - this is exacly what Docklands needs to immediately bump patronage.

They only need to include coloured flames to that amazing show captured in the video, I have a friend who does coloured flames by the way.

Marvelous Mega-Melbourne

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Melbman's picture

I can't see how they would fit this into Docklands, given the need for boats and other water traffic to use this area also.

It looks amazing, but the practicality for the area is questionable.

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Bilby's picture

We already have Crown Casino's pigeon-roasting gas flames for this kind of spectacle. Do we really need to boganise the Docklands to make it an attractive destination to visit for large numbers of people?

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Riccardo's picture

Bilby as usual you are generating the laughs.

The main difference between boganism and high culture is the passing of time.

Do you honestly think Handel's music for the royal fireworks was any better than bogan music in its day? Were Gilbert and Sullivan any better than your average tv channel comedy skit show in their day?

How many mediaeval cathedrals or chateaux have 'look at me' written all over them?

Did not European monarchs cover themselves in 'bling' for the same reason contemporary gangsters and celebrities do?

I was fascinated visiting Ile D'If off Marseille a few years ago. A ship carrying a rhinoceros crashed on the island in 1520. Every one royal and rich in Marseille went over for a 'stickybeak' - rubbernecking car crashes was just as popular in 1520 as today.

If you want to pursue 'pure beauty' then advocate for that. But if you want to make it 'culturally correct' a few hundred years will fix that.

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Bilby's picture

I actually agree with you there, Riccardo. But then, I'm not really a fan of Handel, Gilbert & Sullivan or Medieval cathedrals either, myself!

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