Docklands Places and Spaces, part two: Victoria Harbour
Following on from part one's photo tour of Yarra's Edge earlier in the week, comes part two which focuses on the so-called 'centrepiece' of Docklands: Victoria Harbour.
Where Yarra's Edge is predominantly a residential precinct littered with parks, restaurants and the odd community facility, Victoria Harbour provides a mix of commercial and residential with a healthy dose of community and public infrastructure in between.
The likes of ANZ, NAB, and Aurecon have offices down by the harbour with the eventual completion of ANZ's second building at 839 Collins Street marking the end of the commercial component as developer Lendlease turns its attention to the final stage of Victoria Harbour: Collins Wharf.
During my visit which occurred around lunch time there were plenty of people out in the sun particularly in the central Victoria Green which also includes a community garden. This space is flanked on all sides by built form, some (in this writer's opinion) more successful than others.
The rear of both The Mosaic and The Montage residential buildings leave a bit to be desired and the inclusion of townhouses while providing some form of housing diversity, much like the townhouses at Yarra's Edge doesn't provide the most active frontage at ground level and similarly doesn't seem like the best outcome for the site.
One of my favourite podiums within Victoria Harbour is the almost completed 889 Collins Street complex with bands of brick facing tile wrapping around the facade which undulates at street level to form glazed openings for retail.
Designed by Sydney-based Koichi Takada Architects this is one of the few instances where a material and texture has been used which is appropriate to the site context and history, and the street and precinct is all the better for it.
The paved space in between both sets of podia was still fenced off as workers were adding the finishing touches.
Two other areas within the precinct which I think have turned out pretty well are the promenade to the northern edge which includes the NAB building and Library at the Dock in addition to the Boating and Family Services buildings.
Buluk Park to the rear includes green space and a playground for children and due to the low-rise nature of the library has is provided with ample solar access and provides respite from the busy surrounding streets.
The least successful (and I didn't photograph it) part of the area is the southern promenade which has ANZ's expansive HQ along its edge; meaning that in winter the promenade is for the most part in constant shadow the height of the under construction 839 Collins Street and 889 Collins Street despite building separation only compound the issue.
Further photos can be viewed in the slideshow below.