For as long as I can remember, stretching all the way back to my early days on the SkyscraperCity forums, I had a keen interest in how Melbourne was developing. Within the confines of the Hoddle Grid, Southbank and the emerging Docklands precinct the likes of Eureka, Freshwater Place, 121 Exhibition Street, Urban Workshop etc. were under construction simultaneously; the boom acting as a catalyst for public interest.
Fast forward ten years and not much has changed: the behemoth that is Australia 108 is set to rise from the former swampland of Southbank, and there are cranes a plenty dotting the city skyline. With so much development happening the question that is inevitably raised: what will it all look like into the future?
Over the last couple years on Urban Melbourne, I've looked at a number of planning applications and have tried to represent these proposals in-situ, providing context to any particular project. This provides our readers with a greater understanding of their impact upon the city.
I first started a digital model of central Melbourne about eight years ago, beginning with a simple model that I used as a base, and am now about to embark on its third iteration. With a more accurate CAD base to work from - but using a lot of the information from the second model - Rhinoceros 3D will be used for modelling along with the associated Vray plug-in for rendering. The digital model allows for the output of images like these (albeit with some post production in Photoshop):
What purpose will the digital model ultimately serve, beyond being able to generate imagery? I think it would be great to eventually see it printed and on display; a resource for the greater public to utilise in order to get a handle on what's happening in and around Melbourne.
The City of Sydney has had one for a good twenty years and although not 3D printed, it sets a pretty decent standard. Both City of Melbourne and DTPLI have digital models but these aren't available to the public or even industry; the subject of a future article no doubt.
Naturally a complete model of inner Melbourne will take some time and effort to build, but the end result will be a publicly viewable instrument that will be beneficial in many ways. Stay tuned for model updates in the weeks and months to come.