Melbourne CBD Model update: August 2016

One of the first things I was keen to do upon returning from my European holiday was provide the Urban Melbourne 3D model with some much needed attention, particularly in light of a number of recent significant approvals.

As such the following 11 projects have been added to the model or updated in the previous two weeks:

  • The Conservatory, 9 Mackenzie Street
  • 295-309 King Street
  • Ritz Carlton at West Side Place & Tower 2 updated
  • The Jean Nouvel designed 383 LaTrobe Street in association with Architectus
  • 303 LaTrobe Street
  • The late Zaha Hadid's 582-606 Collins Street with Plus Architecture
  • Melbourne Quarter updated
  • Tower 5 at Collins Square
  • 9-27 Downie Street
  • 7-23 Spencer Street
  • 35 Spring Street

Key - Red: proposed.  Blue: approved.  Green: Under Construction.

Soon enough you'll be able to pan around the Urban Melbourne 3D model, much like Google Earth

Despite the additions, there still remains a significant number of projects yet to be added across the CBD, Southbank and Docklands, meaning a relatively complete model is still some time away. Ideally early 2017 would see a complete Melbourne model.

Ultimately as we continue to improve Urban Melbourne, there are a number of features we will be looking to implement, one of which would be providing an interactive model of the city (with various layers) that visitors to the site could orbit around and switch on and off proposed, approved and under construction buildings etc.

But for now you'll all have to rely on my renders and screen grabs, which I think are good for a bit of fun visual analysis of the state of play in the central city.

CBD North continues to perform as the west end slowly gathers pace

The CBD North area is currently the busiest in terms of construction and this is likely to continue with projects such as Queens Place, the Munro Site at QVM, and Swanston Central kicking off over the next 12 months or so. Meanwhile the west end of the CBD is gearing up for a host of major developments commencing with Collins Arch, Olderfleet Place, Collins House, West Side Place Towers 1 & 2, and Melbourne Quarter adding a mix of apartments, hotel suites and office space; and let's not forget much needed public open space.

These projects also go some way to better connecting Docklands with the CBD both visually and physically; Spencer Street which once had a number of major bombsites will be unrecognisable in five years time.

CBD North is experiencing the greatest change

Melbourne's future buildings would make for an impressive skyline

As the elevations below illustrate the Melbourne skyline is in for significant change (in case you weren't aware). The height and density far exceeds anything that has been developed in the last 20 years, where a whole other city is essentially being built within the current CBD.

Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area also shapes as another CBD-sized development in itself.

Existing, future and combined.

The diagram also illustrates that there is a strong pipeline of development approved (blue) and ready to commence in the next few years once the current and sizeable construction cycle (green) draws to a close.

Lastly, I thought I would end with a render that shows how this current development boom is unique and unlike any other in Melbourne's history.

A who's who on the Melbourne skyline.

The above image features: a Beyonce-inspired curvaceous tower, Melbourne's first Ritz Carlton hotel and the tallest hotel in Australia (until One Queensbridge Street takes the crown), a Zaha Hadid designed tower, a Jean Nouvel-designed tower, a Grimshaw designed tower, a SHoP-designed tower and two mainstays of Melbourne architecture in DCM and FKA teaming up to deliver the final piece of Batmans Hill.

The view of the city from the Yarra River and Southbank will be very different in the not-too-distant future, and tinged with the designs of some of the most recognisable architects of our time.



Peter Maltezos's picture

Excellent work yet again Laurence! yessmileyyes

I collect, therefore I am.

Back to top
Adrian's picture

Outstanding work once again Lawrence !!! Can't wait till the next update and ultimately the interactive model :)

Question: Does your model take into account Ground Level RL ?

There seems to be a bit of discrepancy between say 101 & 120 Collins in the tip of spire. Whilst in the 'future' render the North End towers seem to be at the same RL as Southbank where in reality there is a 10-15m difference.

Once again amazing stuff !!

Back to top
Laurence Dragomir's picture

Thanks guys.

Adrian that will be corrected once the topography goes in and streets will also be modeled in properly.

Back to top
SYmlb's picture

And this also doesn't include Crown at 320m+ either. That will be the cream of the crop.

Excellent work Laurence.

Back to top
Kurt's picture

I've just noticed that the new development at 21 Wills Street (Wills Place) is not on the model update. Is it no longer going ahead?


Back to top
Michael Berquez's picture

Great model. Thank you. Really want the Nouvel proposal approved.

Back to top
Adrian's picture

^^ couldn't possibly agree more MB !!

Laurence - one other thing to note for the next update. Empire is missing entirely as far as I can see.

This model reminds me so much of the city animation on the menu of the game Mirrors Edge:

When the interactive version comes out I will be playing the music from the clip there in the background - will be amazing stuff !!

Back to top
pdoff's picture

lol, according to the who's who shot, the southern star view could go from bad to worse!

Great work thanks Laurence!

Back to top
Zaita Sun's picture

That looks great Laurence!
What format is the model in? I have been creating something similar in the past using Revit

Back to top
Laurence Dragomir's picture

Hi Zaita, it's in Rhino format.

Adrian, Empire is definitely there but it's hard to distinguish from Aurora and the blades make it appear dark

Back to top
John Peterson's picture

Hi Laurence,

Is the model avaialble for sale?


Back to top
My Real Estate Mate logo

Development & Planning

Friday, October 21, 2016 - 00:00
Following its acquisition of Waterfront City late in 2014, current owners Ashe Morgan have moved to further reinvent and reposition the precinct, which includes Harbour Town and the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel as major drawcards. The first stage of overhaul works which were concentrated on Harbour Town are concluding. These...

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 14:30
On Monday 24th of October, the iCities: World Class CBDs series conference kicks off. First held in Kuala Lumpur, this year's conference is to be held at the Langham Hotel on Southbank. iCities is owned and operated by iProperty Group, a network property under the REA Group umbrella brand. Over...


Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 17:00
Melbourne’s architectural landscape is a wonderful juxtaposition of modern and Victorian architecture. Although the CBD has been peppered with many skyscrapers, its historical structures have won Melbourne the title of “Australia’s most European city”. Perhaps the most striking example of this juxtaposition between old and new is the Coops Shot...

Transport & Design

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 07:00
108 Leicester Street is a collection of eight multi-level Fitzroy townhouses that have been designed to respond to the changing face of multi-residential living in Melbourne. The hybrid inner-city dwellings combine developer/builder FOURSQ with Melbourne firm BKK Architects. The design acknowledges the housing typologies of the development's Fitzroy neighbourhood with...

Sustainability & Environment

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 00:00
The proposed new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) on Sturt Street is shaping to become much more than a cutting edge venue. While the project has been given coverage to date across a range of mediums, very little has been said regarding the project playing an integral part in the...