The Riverside Quay Place Renewal project takes shape

The Riverside Quay Place Renewal project takes shape
Laurence DragomirAugust 12, 2015

As reported by early last year, the City of Melbourne and Mirvac are working in partnership to renew Southbank's Riverside Quay area, with particular emphasis placed on Riverside Quay Place. Key elements of Mirvac's office development at 2 Riverside Quay are a new office complex built over the existing car park and a new urban space at the foot of the building.

The planning permit for this site required the development of a master plan outlining the improvements to the surrounding Mirvac-owned buildings which are Q1, Q2 and Q3 as seen below. 2 Riverside Quay (2RSQ) underlines the entire master plan, with two tower cranes currently at work for what will become the new offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Riverside Quay Place Renewal project takes shape
Riverside Quay Masterplan study area - Stage 01. Image courtesy McGregor Coxall

Since April, the City of Melbourne have been undertaking community engagement in the Riverside Quay area in an attempt to ascertain who is using the area, how it is being used and what people would like to see. The feedback received during community engagement helped inform council in creating a vision for the Riverside Quay area, which has just been released for further community engagement.

The vision will then inform a master plan that will outline how the existing area could be renewed to meet the needs and values of the local community. Outlined in the vision is a place that:

  • Is welcoming, safe and flexible;
  • Allows people to be proud of and invest their time in;
  • Is quietly vibrant with different opportunities to engage and experience the place.

Key elements of the vision are described in the table extract below:

The Riverside Quay Place Renewal project takes shape
Riverside Quay Place Key Elements. Image courtesy McGregor Coxall

As part of the further refinement of Riverside Quay, Mirvac have submitted a planning amendment to their permit which would see the main entry lobby moved from the south to the east of the tower under construction in order to provide activation and a stronger interface with the new public space: pedestrian access is now provided directly from Riverside Square.

Alterations have also been made to the ground floor layout to accommodate the relocated main building lobby entry. Additionally the application also includes construction of two new canopies on the eastern façade that will project over Riverside Square.

The Riverside Quay Place Renewal project takes shape
2 Riverside Quay amended ground floor plan. © Mirvac

The City of Melbourne have expressed their support of theses alterations to the development.

The new lobby entry to the south eastern corner is considered a more appropriate location that will not unreasonably impact the future design of Riverside Square, which is currently undergoing Community Engagement and design process. The new lobby entry reduces travel distance to Riverside Quay, resulting in a more balanced location that engages both Riverside Square and Riverside Quay.

The reduced travel distance will also reduce the impact of any easement of other legal mechanism required to gain legal rights of access to the lobby across the park to Riverside Quay. Any encumbrances on Riverside Square are to be minimised and to this end it is considered that access to the retail/café tenancy should be relocated, so that it does not abut directly on the land.

It is considered that there is sufficient space in the north eastern corner of the site that will allow Riverside Square to remain unencumbered by the future tenancy.

City of Melbourne's Future (Planning) Committee Report

It is anticipated Stage 1 of the masterplan will commence construction in Q3 2016. In the meantime, to stay up to date or get involved, visit the Riverside Quay Place Renewal website.

The Riverside Quay Place Renewal project takes shape
2 Riverside Quay powering along. Image courtesy Ryan Seychell

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.

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