Melbourne’s Seafarers Rest Park Breaks Ground, Paving the Way for Melbourne’s Newest Riverside Destination

Seafarers Rest by Riverlee
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In a monumental step towards rejuvenating Melbourne’s Northbank, the groundbreaking ceremony for Seafarers Rest Park marked the official commencement of construction on the city’s newest public waterfront park precinct. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Birrarung-Yarra River, this 3,500 square meter park, developed as part of Riverlee’s Seafarers Precinct, promises to redefine the city’s urban landscape.

Graced by the presence of dignitaries including Lord Mayor Sally Capp and project collaborators from Riverlee, the City of Melbourne, 1 Hotel, and landscape design practice OCULUS, the ceremony celebrated the commencement of a project poised to become a vital link in the City of Melbourne’s Greenline Project.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp welcomed the groundbreaking as an important step towards
transforming the north bank of the Yarra River – Birrarung.

“The Greenline Project will transform Melbourne’s riverfront from Birrarung Marr to the Bolte Bridge – while creating thousands of jobs, attracting waves of new visitors, and injecting millions of dollars into the economy.”

Riverlee’s investment is a huge vote of confidence for this city-shaping project and the future of Melbourne,” the Lord Mayor says.

^Breaking Ground Cerimony for Seafarers Rest Park in Melbourne (Image: Riverlee)

Positioned strategically between The Mission to Seafarers heritage building and the iconic Seafarers Bridge, Seafarers Rest embodies a fusion of indigenous cultural heritage and maritime history in its innovative design.

As Riverlee Development Director David Lee remarked,

“Seafarers Rest and the broader precinct marks a transformative milestone in the rejuvenation of Melbourne’s Northbank. Together with the City of Melbourne, we’re revitalising this underutilised and forgotten urban space, reclaiming it as a safe and vibrant green haven for all Melbournians and visitors to enjoy”,

Echoing this sentiment, OCULUS Associate Director Claire Martin emphasized the park’s role in connecting people with their environment, stating,

“We cannot underestimate the value of access to high-quality public space to connect people to each other and their environment, particularly in dense urban areas. Birrarung is a place of great importance and connection and it carries a lifetime of maritime stories too. We are thrilled to see this brought to life through this truly considered park design.”

The park’s completion is anticipated later this year as part of Riverlee’s extensive restoration and redevelopment of Goods Shed No.5, a heritage-listed site, into a $600 million mixed-use precinct. This precinct will feature 114 hotel-branded residences and 277 hotel rooms under the banner of 1 Hotel & Homes Melbourne, an innovative eco-luxury lifestyle brand for Australia. In a nod to the site’s history, Riverlee restored the shed’s iconic travelling crane in 2019, relocating it to the eastern end and symbolically integrating it into Seafarers Rest as a focal point for the project.

Collaborating closely with the City of Melbourne and various stakeholders, Seafarers Rest was meticulously designed with input from nearly 1000 community participants. Their valuable insights, collected through surveys and engagements, played a pivotal role in shaping the park’s design to authentically reflect local interests and heritage, while also addressing contemporary needs.

The park boasts expansive open lawns, seamlessly connecting to the river promenade via newly constructed pathways, as well as a dedicated play area catering to children and families. Its development aims to enrich Melbourne’s urban ecology, offer pet-friendly facilities, and provide ample seating for various recreational activities.

^Seafarers Rest Park by Riverlee (Image: Riverlee)

Drawing inspiration from the area’s maritime history, the park’s design pays homage to its industrial roots through features such as rope swings, timber seating reminiscent of shipping crates, and carefully curated local maritime artifacts from the Offshore & Speciality Ships Association (OSSA). These elements not only celebrate Melbourne’s port legacy but also offer visitors opportunities for reflection and discovery, fostering unique learning experiences.

Located adjacent to 1 Hotel Melbourne’s lounge and bar within Goods Shed No.5, the park will also feature an events deck—a versatile space poised to host curated events by 1 Hotel and the City of Melbourne, revitalizing this once-overlooked space and infusing it with new life.

The Seafarers building, meticulously crafted by Fender Katsalidis and skillfully constructed by Icon, has recently achieved its pinnacle, signifying a noteworthy advancement in the project’s journey. As the Seafarers precinct nears its anticipated completion in 2024, Seafarers Rest will seamlessly transition back to the city’s ownership. It will join the Northbank chain of parks, establishing vital connections to Batman Park, Enterprize Park, and Birrarung Marr, thereby fulfilling the objectives outlined in the City of Melbourne’s Open Space Strategy.

^Seafarers Development at the Docklands (Image: Riverlee)

Note: The information presented in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal, financial, or professional advice. While we make every effort to fact-check and verify the information presented, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Readers are encouraged to independently verify any information they find on our website and to consult with relevant professionals before making any decisions based on the information presented. The Australian Development Review does not own the rights to the information included within this article, and furthermore, there is no infringement intended from the included text and images within.


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