Victoria Harbour has come a long way since the National Australia Banks’s flagship development was completed in 2004. By early 2019 80 per cent of the planned buildings for the precinct will have been delivered, not to mention the lush green spaces and public amenities that have helped to foster a sense of community among our 15,000 workers and 5,000 residents to create Melbourne’s living waterfront.
While the transformation into one of Melbourne’s most iconic precincts has already been impressive, we’re still a few years away from completion. Edward McAuliffe, Victoria Harbour’s new Project Director, is responsible for overseeing the successful delivery of the final buildings and amenities in the precinct. He shared his favourite spots to visit and how state-of-the-art buildings and design concepts are solidifying Victoria Harbour’s position as Melbourne’s neighbourhood of tomorrow.
What was your first experience with Victoria Harbour?
Prior to working with Lendlease, I toured both The Gauge and Forte. Victoria Harbour’s reputation as a market leader in sustainability was evident; The Gauge was the first office building in Australia to achieve a 6 Star Green Star rating and Forte was Australia’s first multi-residential cross laminated timber building with a 5 Star Green Star rating. To return six years later and have the opportunity to lead the final stages of the precinct’s transformation is really exciting for me.
What is your favourite building in Victoria Harbour?
In some areas, office buildings and apartments can become a bit stark and similar, but Victoria Harbour has instilled a sense of excitement and diversity in the architecture of its buildings.
839 Collins Street, which is due for completion in March 2019, is one of my favourites. It’s an amazing piece of commercial architecture, with a breathtaking foyer and unique green spaces that will foster greater health and wellbeing for its new tenants. My favourite element is the giant feature window that will offer a one-of-a-kind view straight down Collins Street with a cosmopolitan outlook similar to New York City, as well as views of the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay on the other side of the building.
The Koichi Takada designed residential towers on the waterfront at 883 and 889 Collins Street are also a highlight for me. Koichi is an incredibly dynamic and passionate designer and his inspiration for this collection of towers came from the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road.
It would also be remiss of me to exclude the unique angled façade of 888 Collins Street on the corner of Bourke and Collins Streets, which in daylight reminds me of the famous Flatiron building in New York. The building comes to life at night in a vibrant light show, marking the intersection of two of Melbourne’s most famous streets.
Which events are you looking forward to becoming a part of?
Park Cinema has been an amazing event for our community with over 1,000 guests attending our screenings in the past two years. We are looking at ways to expand its success throughout the precinct and introduce more local partnerships as it evolves.
Our partnership with RMIT for The Exchange at Knowledge Market has been a fantastic opportunity to unite our community and create initiatives that will grow and continue for years to come. I’m also looking forward to future collaborations with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and will definitely be making my way down to the Firelight Festival this winter. There’s a lot going on in Victoria Harbour and it will be great to be a part of it all.
What are your three favourite places in Victoria Harbour?
How can I possibly pick just three? There are so many fantastic places to see in Victoria Harbour, so if you haven’t visited in a while it’s definitely worth the free tram trip down from the city.
Saluministi is my current favourite lunch spot – it’s always buzzing, the service is great and their freshly baked paninis hit the spot every time.
I love the variety of open spaces throughout Victoria Harbour, but when I’m exploring the precinct with my six-year-old son, no visit is complete without a trip to the Buluk Park playground.
Library at the Dock is also such a great public facility. It’s always buzzing with activity and has such a variety of spaces for the public to enjoy, from the quiet reading areas to the design lab and The Terrace upstairs. It’s not surprising that it’s been embraced by the wider community.
Learn more about Victoria Harbour.