Cremorne 2025: proposition to reality?

Cremorne 2025: proposition to reality?
Cremorne 2025: proposition to reality?

Cremorne is enjoying a development spurt as predominantly office-driven applications continue to roll in.

The pocket rocket suburb's development progression has been somewhat foreshadowed by Cremorne2025, the urban design studio which is part of the Department of Architecture (Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture) at Monash University.

Some years ago the creation of Cremorne2025 was designed to allow students to "envision Cremorne in 2025 as a new, lively, mixed-use, dense and sustainable inner suburb of Melbourne."

Prior to outlining of the current developments which are choosing to call Cremorne home, the fundamentals of Cremorne2025 are worth revisiting.

Cremorne 2025 - a recap

As part of their overall design vision, the students pursue the activation and occupation of urban space as a central strategy. This approach promotes new ideas for Cremorne and also an understanding of the future of Melbourne in a wider sense.

As a case study the vision and strategies for Cremorne address current and future challenges for the city of Melbourne specifically as well as for growing cities in general.​

The centrally located “forgotten” suburb forms a unique neighbourhood within Melbourne’s fabric, with a great industrial heritage. As an insular enclave, delimited by large infrastructures, it forms an ideal study area, to develop exemplary future oriented strategies for densification, which could later be transferred to other urban situations.

Cremorne 2025: proposition to reality?
Envisaging a new Cremorne. Image: Cremorne2025

The development drive

Rather than exploring every strategy and vision of Cremorne2025 for the sake of comparison, a focus on what has been submitted for approval can provide an adequate assessment of Cremorne's push to "activation and occupation of urban space."

As mentioned, office-based applications are leading the charge within Cremorne, adding as much as 85,000sqm to the suburb's stock. Employment provider SEEK has pencilled in Cremorne as its new home and accounts for a sizeable proportion of the 85,000sqm figure, awaiting approval for an atypically shaped 27,000sqm campus-style building. 

The latest of a slew of office proposals to hit advertising is 64 Balmain Street. Alchant Investments Pty Ltd is pushing for approval of a BG Architecture-designed scheme encompassing an NLA of 10,814sqm. The render below demonstrates the scale of the proposal relative to its more modest surrounds, which is typical of the built form change expected within Cremorne.

New projects are also adding to the development queue, such as 2-6 Gwynne Street which seeks the development of a six-storey office building; these projects are on smaller land plots and themselves provide scale and contrast to some of the larger proposals in Cremorne.

Apartments too are present but not as prevalent. Caydon's plans for the Malt District are by far and away the largest in the pipeline, which could see approximately 1,000 new dwellings created on the banks of the Yarra River.

Cremorne 2025: proposition to reality?
64 Balmain Street in a lor-rise setting. Image: BG Architecture

An issue emerging?

As with any other locale across Melbourne, a more frequent injection of higher density projects will lead to questions about the ability of location-specific infrastructure, transport, green spaces and services to cope with increased demand.

The postcard-sized suburb lends itself to being a pedestrian-friendly area which is well serviced by extensive public transport links. In addition, the already tight road network and limited parking adds extra emphasis on the efficient manner in which public transport services Cremorne.

As Cremorne continues to flourish, the necessity of Richmond Station's long-mooted redevelopment comes into sharper focus. An expanding office-based workforce will only add more demand to existing public transport services.

Is Richmond Station's redevelopment the biggest enabler to Cremorne's success? 

Cremorne 2025: proposition to reality?
9-11 Cremorne is the latest project to hit construction in the suburb.

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak

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