St Kilda Triangle is becoming... a park?

City of Port Phillip are displaying the latest version of the St Kilda Triangle Interim Masterplan which would see the prime site become a park. Built form by way of a likely joint hotel/communal facility will be restricted to the site immediately south of the Palais Theatre, allowing for the vast majority of the site to remain free of any new buildings.

The Interim Masterplan establishes a framework for the connections, broad land uses, massing and location of built form arrangements on the site. It has been developed in from the masterplan Co-Design Workshops and has been informed by the St Kilda Triangle Design Brief (Rev 1) endorsed by Council on 28 July 2015.

St Kilda Triangle Interim Masterplan Report
Likely uses as outlined by the Interim Masterplan

The Interim Masterplan shows that 16,000sqm of open space will dominate the site's footprint, in addition to a basement carpark for 350 vehicles located below the segment of the site that will hold approximately 23,500sqm of built form.

Separated into three segments, the new St Kilda Triangle will feature 'The Slopes', an 'Extended Balcony' and the built form outcome around the Palais Theatre.

A new foreshore entrance, extensive landscaping, an informal amphitheatre, rooftop deck/park and pavilion spaces highlight the open space aspects of the design. Placemaking agency Village Well and landscape firm T.C.L are heavily involved in this aspect of the Interim Masterplan while ARM Architecture is also in place for the built form segment. Further project members include GTA Consultants and Root Projects Australia.

The hotel/cultural facility is expected to be of a similar size to the Palais Theatre with a height of 30 metres expected.

Indicative design taken from the September 2015 Masterplan document

Following likely approval of the Interim Masterplan, it is expected a more rigorous design process will be undertaken. Workshops will be held to further define key aspects of the masterplan which include heritage, landscaping and weather protection considerations.

Furthermore the draft St Kilda Triangle Cultural Charter will be enhanced to align with the current Interim Masterplan. This along with various other steps will allow for an eventual business case for the development to be created, thus allowing prospective funding partners to be sourced by City of Port Phillip.

The project timetable sees the funding process take place over 2016-2017 with 2020 slated as the final 'Management' stage which one assumes is the targeted construction completion date.


Are we creating boxes here just to be able to tick them for the purpose of being seen to be doing the right thing in the public eye? The process of once more getting the St Kilda Triangle development up and running looks to be an overly tedious one.

Pulling teeth looks to be more fun than waiting for City of Port Phillip to rubber stamp what is ostensibly a park; of course there's more to the plan than just a park but it does look to be a dumbed-down development that negates any genuine flair or ingenuity in the design process. The opportunity to create a low-rise landmark for St Kilda and Melbourne at large looks to be gone, with City of Port Phillip pursuing a different result.

Why not consider a museum, concert hall or community facility front and square onsite, taking pride of place rather than being tacked onto the back of a hotel?

Ultimately another park is never a bad outcome, but when the St Kilda Foreshore, O'Donnell Gardens, Peanut Farm Reserve and St Kilda Botanic Gardens are all within walking distance, the transformation of the St Kilda Triangle site into little more than a park is a soft option and a massive opportunity for a defining civic showpiece lost.

Exemplars: Heydar Aliyev Center & Walt Disney Concert Hall


Nicholas Harrison's picture

Looks like it was designed by a committee of community groups.

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Jay W's picture

Overly cautious Council missing a major civic opportunity.

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johnproctor's picture

^ the Council were largely voted in on an anti-development anti-St Kilda Triangle platform.

it was always going to go this way.

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Rohan Storey's picture

I dont see why everything has to be a building, that is a 3D architectural statement. ORiginally I thought who needs new park when there a beach next door, but then I thought, well the foreshore mainly open space used for passive recreation, and its pretty crowded, so why not a bit more of it ? But not just park, but something like this thats grass and trees, but also places to stop and for things to happen, little plazas, pavilions, paths, and then there's room for some building too, both under green space, and behind the Palais - but facing the beach.

I think this sketch doesn't do justice to the possibilities, yes its gotta be bland, cos its a set of ideas, not a design. but ultimately, the parts could be as good as Park Villette or the currently redeveloped Les Halles, the landscape like the NY Highline, that sort of thing.

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

Maybe something like this would be good:

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johnproctor's picture


well done Nicholas. Honestly this new masterplan and the 2007 'Chadstone by the sea' give almost the exact same public realm/view outcome... its sickening how much time and money has been wasted to get to this point.

(and meanwhile the triangle has been a blight on St Kilda for an extra 8 years and counting)

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Aussie Steve's picture

The creation of open space and the developments as proposed is great, but what I hope for is the improvement of the Upper Esplanade, as the concrete block balustrading and the paving and lighting is awful and needs great improvement. The public realm is a real disgrace through some parts of St Kilda, but Acland Street and the recent redevelopment of the beach end of Fitzroy St is excellent. Let's hope for more of the same in this area.

PS: Can the Port Phillip City Council plant more palm trees where some have died and been removed along the foreshore between Luna Park and Port Melbourne, as the missing teeth is quite ugly!

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Simon Cookes's picture

The scheme needs to connect pedestrians - on mass without interruption - from the Upper Esplanade down to the beach. Jacka Boulevard - next to St Kilda Triangle - needs to go underground. It was the perfect opportunity to do this while the Stoke House was also being planned (I didn't burn the old one, promise). Activate the beach, the baths and seaside parks. VicRoads needs to get out of the drivers seat, they are ruining the life of our city. Make it about people and birds and bikes and bikinis.

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