Blockhead Concept - Pier-ing into the future

A lot has happened since my last concept article (This Little Piggy went to Market (on his fixie)): Kevin Rudd is now Prime Minister, Australia has lost The Ashes but is fighting for respect, The Maroons are State of Origin champions and Hawthorn lost to Geelong while Essendon has run out of steam yet again.

All the while I've been lying in bed at night thinking about Station Pier, Port Melbourne. This article forms part of a series of articles focusing on Port Melbourne's past, present and future. As the name suggests I'll be focusing on a possible future for at least part of the site.

I may revisit the pier itself for another article at some stage, however I have decided to focus on the area highlighted in red below, closest to Waterfront Place.

My concept for the site consists of seven parts as seen on the map below:

  1. A museum and visitor centre focusing on the history of the pier
  2. A raised sloping park with public parking underneath, replacing the current open air car park and nature strip
  3. New paved square
  4. Overpass and raised public concourse allowing for courier/truck access through and underneath the development
  5. 8-storey apartment building with retail at ground and concourse levels + 2 rooftop gardens and pergola structure
  6. 55-storey Hotel and apartments with retail and commercial space at ground and concourse levels + garden on rooftop
  7. 65-storey apartment tower atop a 3-storey shared podium, retail at ground and concourse levels

While the height of the towers may be significantly beyond any other development in the area, they sit to the south of the existing residential area and west of the beach; overshadowing of the beach only really occurring late in the afternoon, which particularly in summer, might not be such a bad thing. As per previous concepts dreamt up for Urban Melbourne, I have tried to provide a reasonable balance between private and public spaces.

The idea is the development would act as a gateway for visitors arriving via sea (standing out from a distance) while also activating what is an otherwise series of 'dead' spaces. The concept won't appeal to all, but hopefully it serves its purpose in provoking thought for a complex that could be so much more.

Hope you enjoy the images below, click for them for a full screen view.

Looking up at The Dunes


Martin Mankowski's picture

Looks great - reminds me a little of the proposed Barangaroo tower.  Would almost act as a modern day Lighthouse as the ships sail through the bay.  Would make a great spectacle as people play on the beach or sit in a bar - Melbourne's very own Burj Al Arab!

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Melbman's picture

Looks like a great idea.

The NIMBY's would never allow it though which is a pity as it would be a real icon in that location. The visitors would get an immediate photo opportunity also which would be a great plus.

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Martin Mankowski's picture

Melbman - Unfortunately I think you're right about the NIMBYs. Not even Matthew Guy would be brave enough to approve this, and that's saying a lot!

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MelbourneGuy's picture

There's never been any room to think outside the box in this country. Too many people love to knock down any proposal that doesn't fit their mindset.
I think your concept is great, but the previous comments said it all.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

I see inspiration from both Oscar Niemeyer and Richard Neutra in your designs Laurence, beautiful architecture.yes

Pity that it's wasted on the masses who if they see them would probably just scream MODERN MONSTROSITIES and PHALLIC SYMBOLS!!angry

I collect, therefore I am.

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Bilby's picture

That plaza looks a bit barren. How about a design incorporating sand dunes, coastal vegetation and a series of elevated timber walkways between them? Ones the dunes were stabilised by the vegetation, they would look incredible between the new buildings.

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Andrew Mck's picture

What a stunning entrance to Melbourne would that be.
But as what has been said already, NIMBYs would scream '' belongs in Dubai '' ''blar blar blar ''
More likely to end up as anouther at level car park, a few green patches and free bbq's.

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Laurence Dragomir's picture

Thanks to everyone that's commented - always appreciate the feedback.

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