The first new park in Fishermans Bend officially opens

The first new park in Fishermans Bend officially opens
The first new park in Fishermans Bend officially opens

Though the final Framework and Planning controls for Fishermans Bend were only adopted in the last few weeks, the reality is that work has been progressing on Australia's largest urban renewal project for quite some time. Apartment developments such as Gravity Tower and Nightfall aside, the Hayball-designed South Melbourne Primary School opened in February this year within what will become known as the Montague precinct.

And now the first stage of a new park for the growing community has opened, marking another significant milestone for the area. Named Kirrip Park, the name was chosen through an extensive community consultation process by City of Port Phillip. ‘Kirrip’ means friendship or mate in the Boon Wurrung language.

Hayball have acted as Principal Consultants on the Ferrars St Education and Community Precinct, encompassing the South Melbourne Primary School and Community Facility and Kirrip Park - a catalyst project for Fishermans Bend that provides more public space, community services and facilities for the growing community. The landscape design of the new park was undertaken by Tract Consultants, continuing from and building on their work on the school and wider precinct.

The first new park in Fishermans Bend officially opens
Kirrip Park forms part of the Ferrars Street Education and Community Precinct. Image: City of Port Phillip

The site of the 9,000 sqm park was jointly purchased and delivered by the City of Port Phillip and the Victorian State Government, and provides much needed open space within Fishermans Bend - the equivalent of around 20 netball courts. Further development of the park will be carried out in consultation with the community to determine what other elements are needed to support a wide range of active and passive uses.

As previously mentioned, the Ferrars Street precinct features Victoria’s first vertical primary school, in addition to tram stop and street upgrades as well as streetscaping to improve safety, accessibility and connections to the surrounding area. The balance of streetscaping works is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The project marks the transformation of the old industrial site into a new and vibrant area for Fishermans Bend.

This park is a great example of how we are undoing Matthew Guy’s mess at Fishermans Bend. Our partnership with the City of Port Phillip and the City of Melbourne has been at the heart of delivering a better future for Fishermans Bend and the neighbouring communities.

- Martin Foley, Member for Albert Park

The first new park in Fishermans Bend officially opens
Kirrip Park joins the South Melbourne Primary School. Image: Dianne Snape

Fishermans Bend encompasses around 485 hectares of former industrial land on the doorstep of Melbourne's CBD. It is expected that by 2050, it will be home to approximately 80,000 residents and provide employment for up to 80,000 people across five precincts; Lorimer, Montague, Sandridge, Wirraway and the Employment Precinct.

What the designers say...

A key approach to Hayball’s design in this precinct has been to incorporate flexible and adaptable spaces, that provide greater facilities for the growing Fishermans Bend community. This is reflected at South Melbourne Primary school, Victoria’s first vertical primary school, and will be even more evident now that Kirrip Park is complete and open to the public.

The landscape of the precinct, including the park, is integral to creating a vibrant and functional space for the community to utilise and interact in. Kirrip Park will be a blueprint for useful and inclusive city parks not only across Melbourne, but for other urban areas across the country.

The wider Ferrars St Education and Community Precinct is a great example of successful urban regeneration in Melbourne, with spaces that will support a growing and diverse community.

- Anthony Apolloni, Project Leader and Senior Associate, Hayball


The Kirrip Park project is sensitive to the social and cultural context and will play a key role in the making of a new active community, providing a wide range of flexible use spaces for a diversity of users. The scale of the open space is fitting for the growing community and school users which inhabit the surrounding areas.

The landscape concept was based around the principle of environmental sustainability and active stormwater management systems. Through a collaborative design approach, rain gardens and planted drainage swales were designed to create a naturalistic landscape, providing passive irrigation, and improving water quality discharging to the downstream Yarra River outfall.

Through a creative landscape and engineering design solution the ‘open’ approach provides additional flood storage capacity in local flood events, whilst creating usable green areas and improving the public amenity, landscape and ‘green’ nature of the precinct. High quality open space will play a central role in the creation of a vibrant and successful new community.

- Mariano Lopez, Principal Landscape Architect, Tract Consultants

Lead Image: City of Port Phillip via twitter.


Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.

Fishermans Bend City of Port Phillip Montague Kirrip Park


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