The CTBUH Docklands Walking Tour, hosted by Plus Architecture, took participants on a journey through the heart of this thriving urban renewal precinct. The tour kicked off at Southern Cross Station’s Bourke Street Steps, a major pedestrian thoroughfare connecting the CBD to the Docklands Precinct. The tour began with a visit to Medibank Place (720 Bourke Street), an office building that sets a new standard for health-based working. Described as “hard-wired for health,” Medibank Place provides flexible, innovating working spaces that place employee health and wellbeing first.
The tour then visited the adjacent 700 Bourke Street, headquarters of the National Australia Bank. Responding to its triangular site, the architecture embraces the triangle as its primary visual motif, with a magnificent triangular atrium rising through the center of the building. Three vertical fissures snake their way down the façade of the building, breaking down the scale of the enormous footprint. Triangulated façade panels on the exterior of these “cathedral windows” are colored red, orange, yellow, and green.
The tour continued along to Central Pier, affording participants an insight into the six-tower NewQuay residential development. This ground-breaking development set the standard for the growth of Docklands, bringing together this once industrial precinct with the CBD proper. From the vantage point of Central Pier, the tour explored the growth of Harbour Town, Victoria Harbour, and Yarra’s Edge.
This tour provided a fascinating insight into the growth of this dynamic precinct and its role as a case study for urban renewal.