Docklands Places and Spaces, part two: Victoria Harbour

Following on from part one's photo tour of Yarra's Edge earlier in the week, comes part two which focuses on the so-called 'centrepiece' of Docklands: Victoria Harbour.

Where Yarra's Edge is predominantly a residential precinct littered with parks, restaurants and the odd community facility, Victoria Harbour provides a mix of commercial and residential with a healthy dose of community and public infrastructure in between.

The likes of ANZ, NAB, and Aurecon have offices down by the harbour with the eventual completion of ANZ's second building at 839 Collins Street marking the end of the commercial component as developer Lendlease turns its attention to the final stage of Victoria Harbour: Collins Wharf.

No.1 Collins Wharf is the first building in the final stage of Victoria Harbour's Collins Wharf sub-precinct.

During my visit which occurred around lunch time there were plenty of people out in the sun particularly in the central Victoria Green which also includes a community garden. This space is flanked on all sides by built form, some (in this writer's opinion) more successful than others.

The rear of both The Mosaic and The Montage residential buildings leave a bit to be desired and the inclusion of townhouses while providing some form of housing diversity, much like the townhouses at Yarra's Edge doesn't provide the most active frontage at ground level and similarly doesn't seem like the best outcome for the site.

The Victoria Harbour community garden and Victoria Green with The Mosaic and The Montage buildings at the rear

One of my favourite podiums within Victoria Harbour is the almost completed 889 Collins Street complex with bands of brick facing tile wrapping around the facade which undulates at street level to form glazed openings for retail.

Designed by Sydney-based Koichi Takada Architects this is one of the few instances where a material and texture has been used which is appropriate to the site context and history, and the street and precinct is all the better for it.

The paved space in between both sets of podia was still fenced off as workers were adding the finishing touches.

Koichi Takada Architect's 889 Collins Street features brick facing tiles.

Two other areas within the precinct which I think have turned out pretty well are the promenade to the northern edge which includes the NAB building and Library at the Dock in addition to the Boating and Family Services buildings.

Buluk Park to the rear includes green space and a playground for children and due to the low-rise nature of the library has is provided with ample solar access and provides respite from the busy surrounding streets.

Buluk Park, Library at the Dock and the Victoria Harbour northern promenade.

The least successful (and I didn't photograph it) part of the area is the southern promenade which has ANZ's expansive HQ along its edge; meaning that in winter the promenade is for the most part in constant shadow the height of the under construction 839 Collins Street and 889 Collins Street despite building separation only compound the issue.

The southern promenade doesn't get nearly as much sunlight as the north.

Further photos can be viewed in the slideshow below.

A reworked Docklands park.

Development & Planning

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 00:00
As reported in The Age late last month speculation is growing that developer Cbus Property is leading the charge to acquire a combined development site at 140-150 Queen Street and 27 McKillop Street. This would follow what would appear to be a pre-emptive purchase of a neighbouring site at 423 Bourke Street, which an 11-storey office block currently occupies.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Sunday, March 11, 2018 - 13:00
The Victorian Government has announced it will ban the use of aluminium cladding panels that have a polyethylene core of more than 30% and expanded polystyrene will also be banned on buildings with 3 or more levels. The changes were announced by the Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, on Saturday morning along with new guidelines for building surveyors.

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

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 17:00
Comment There's much to admire about Rodney Maddock's advocacy piece in The Conversation - ' Our growing big cities need new centres of employment - here's Melbourne's chance ' - the three projects he advocates for have been in the public domain for quite a while now.

Sustainability & Environment