Docklands Places and Spaces, part four: Batmans Hill and Stadium

The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment.

Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

A further two commercial towers, three residential buildings and additional significant open space forms have yet to be acted upon at Melbourne Quarter.

Melbourne Quarter and Collins Square.

The podium areas within Collins Square are all but complete with the food hall's expansion including a new venue called Hightail, with capacity for 1,000 people.

ETFE canopies allow light into the interior spaces while also providing weather protection which is becoming more and more common at Docklands. The former Harbour Town (soon to be known as The District Docklands) also received ETFE canopies to aid with weather protection, without necessarily feeling like a fully enclosed space.

Collins Square's food hall and retail podium.

Diagonally opposite Collins Sqaure, new soft and hardscaping works are being undertaken by Development Victoria to improve the quality of the open space on the triangular park bound by Waterview Walk.

Collins Street and Harbour Esplanade will receive seating plus formal and informal areas for various recreational uses to supplement the multipurpose sports court.

Public open space improvements are underway

Development VIctoria has also completed a transformation of Village Street from a two lane road to a one-way shared space. The project allows the street to be used for festivals, live performances and other community events, maximising its location opposite Etihad Stadium.

Village Street upgrade. Image: Development Victoria

Looking to Etihad Stadium, its entire concourse is a barren, shaded transient area when the stadium isn't in event mode.

With the AFL's purchase of Etihad Stadium earlier this year, they have begun lobbying the Government to contribute funding towards the $300+m revitalisation of the almost 20 year old venue.

The AFL engaged COX Architects to develop a scheme which would see better use of the concourse area, and the improvement of the stadium's interface to Harbour Esplanade which may include an 11-storey hotel on the site of the current AFL Headquarters. 

The stadium concourse.

The stadium and Collins Square/Melbourne Quarter zones are both linked via a semi public but privately owned thoroughfare which winds through both 699 Bourke & 664 Collins Street, providing a north-south connection which also offers great close up views of Southern Cross Station's undulating roof forms.

Southern Cross Station up close.

This piece concludes the four-part Docklands visual series. See below further photos of the Batman's Hill and Stadium precincts, demonstrating how the once desolate area has been transformed into an extension of Melbourne's CBD over the course of 15 years.

Collins Square's glazed forms contrast the red brick of the Queens Warehouse

Development & Planning

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 12:00
After a brief stint during summer, the City of Melbourne's Elizabeth Street pop-up park will close on 24 March to allow for private development works at Riverview House with the Council postponing the permanent upgrade of the area to create new public space, now due to commence in 2019.

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

Monday, March 19, 2018 - 12:00
Works on the new purpose-built Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) headquarters were completed late last year. Now occupied, the 10-storey mixed-use complex at 535 Elizabeth Street was built by Multiplex and accommodates the organisation’s 165 staff within the 16,820 square metre building.

Sustainability & Environment