Victoria Harbour – City Quarter


  • Lend Lease Development
  • City of Melbourne


ASPECT I OCULUS led the master planning, design, co-ordination, and implementation of this Docklands project – the Victoria Harbour City Quarter. Countering the perception of Docklands as windswept and unfriendly with large footprint built form; we delivered a fine grain public realm network of streets, laneways, play spaces, courtyards, temporary activation, integrated public art, a plaza, park and promenades. Our place led curatorial program has connected Docklands to the city and people with each other. Over seven years we have ensured the implementation of the masterplan’s sustainability principles, through materiality and process, to green infrastructure, public transport and public realm

Key Features


Key areas:
1. Buluk Park: a significant public open space with outdoor reading rooms and events spaces servicing the City of Melbourne’s Library at the Dock and Maternal Health Centre
2. high amenity streets and urban reforestation; public transport infrastructure and bike lanes
3. integrated public art, two exemplary playspaces, pocket parks and the relocation of the community garden
4. temporary transformation of an undeveloped site into an outdoor fitness hub, with sports courts running circuits, outdoor exercise facilities and a dog park
5. ‘Water Plaza’ a waterfront urban lounge and maritime transport hub


The Victoria Harbour waterfront promenade is regionally significant, providing important connections for the current population as well as for future expansion and connection to the greater Docklands area. The waterside Library at The Dock and associated Buluk Park and integrated playspace, and the soon to be opened Family Services Centre and Community Boating Hub, create a vibrant anchor for the local community, workers and visitors to Docklands, enabling people to come together to explore, learn, participate and connect. The temporary activation park provides short-term resident and visitor use, building activation and repeat visitation.


Place – Creating and Enhancing Local Character
A staged urban regeneration project has transformed a heavily industrialised area into a place to work, live and visit. Robust and contextual materials were used; high quality stone finishes, a retention of wharf objects, the reincorporation of site sourced elements, and the re-use of wharf timbers in Buluk Park’s public decks. Buluk Park named after the Aboriginal language Buluk name meaning wetlands or swamp, was chosen as a reflection of the original environment. Drawing on the site’s rich ecological & cultural history the Park’s water play channels evoke the Yarra’s twisting course and the tidal fluctuations of river and harbour.


Connections and accessibility – facilitating active transport; permeability and way finding; equitable access; integrated movement patterns; integrated land use and transport
The City Quarter combines safe accessible streets, the continuation of the tram along Collins Street and the introduction of a super stop, and the extension of the bike path network. Fine grain secondary and tertiary streets and lanes create strong view lines to primary streets with water views helping orientation. The design ensures integrated safe movement for pedestrians, vehicles, trams and cyclists, wayfinding signs have been embedded within the design of the streets identifying key cross streets and community facilities.


 Incorporation of green infrastructure & the successful implementation of an extensive suite of WSUD & bio-retention, stormwater detention & re-use.
 Introduction of structural soils & contiguous deep soil networks
 The implementation of the City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Diversity Strategy
 Protecting and enhancing urban ecology and biodiversity through the introduction of hundreds of trees.
 Use of natural materials where possible, re-use of site sourced wharf timber, other site construction materials used within the temporary activation space

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