Port Melbourne, Victoria
Implementation of the five-year upgrade masterplan Lovell Chen developed in 2008 for the Port of Melbourne's Station Pier is nearing completion.
Station Pier on Melbourne's foreshore is the longest timber-piled pier operating in the southern hemisphere. It was put into commission in September 1930 — although HMS Renown berthed there three years earlier carrying the Duke and Duchess of York: the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
The original pier on the site had opened in 1854 as Railway Pier, serving steamships. It was demolished in 1923 to make way for Station Pier, designed to handle larger, more powerful vessels. Since then, the pier and its facilities have been extended and upgraded several times, keeping it up-to-date with contemporary needs.
Today, the pier provides four berths, using two terminals — an international Cruise Terminal (in use November to April), and a domestic terminal serving the TT-Line's Spirit of Tasmania, which sails mostly twice a day bound for Tasmania. Royal Australian Navy ships also use the pier.
Upgrade works to the Cruise Terminal have included the refurbishment of offices, amenities and a series of escape stairs, and the provision of a new ceiling in the Customs Hall. Two new baggage chutes have been installed, and the old baggage conveyor (pictured) restored and relocated to the domestic terminal, where it is on public display.
An aim of our ongoing work on the pier is the improvement of the movement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, particularly on days when cruise ships dock or sail. We are looking at the possibility of widening the existing raised area on the pier to separate people on foot from cars. About to commence is the construction of a new canopy that doubles as a covered walkway and taxi/bus stop.
Work is also continuing to restore a 1945 cargo crane. Station Pier's pair of giant cranes were decommissioned in 1975 and one compete one is now being rebuilt from the combined parts. The restored crane will be located on West Finger Pier, as a reminder of Station Pier's historical context.
[ photos: Sarah Anderson ]
AIA AWARD WIN
MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY BOATSHED EXTENSION
Lovell Chen's extension to the MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY BOATSHED — on the south bank of the River Yarra in the heart of Melbourne — has won the 2012 AIA (Victoria) Architecture Award for public architecture: alterations/additions.
The project nows goes forward to the National awards, where it has been shortlsted. Winners of the National AIA Awards will be announced in November
[ photo: John Gollings ]
THE GREAT MELBOURNE TELESCOPE
former Melbourne Observatory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
Once a symbol of Marvellous Melbourne, the Great Melbourne Telescope was the second largest in the world when it was erected at Melbourne Observatory in 1869.
It was removed to Mt Stromlo in 1945, where it was damaged in the bushfires of 2003.
Now being restored, the telescope is to be returned to its purpose-built house at the former observatory, now part of Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens.
The Great Melbourne Telescope was designed and built by Thomas and Howard Grubb in Dublin. It had been proposed to enable exploration of the nebulae visible in the southern skies and represents a change in the way large telescopes were commissioned, as it was the first involving committees of astronomers and international collaborators.
Its original mirror was four feet in diameter, four and half inches thick and made of cast copper and tin alloy. It was mounted on stone piers and housed in a building designed by architect Samuel Merret of Victoria's Public Works Department. This building still stands and Lovell Chen recently undertook an assessment of it. The gabled roof on one half of the structure is designed to slide aside in one piece, revealing the skies to the telescope.
Melbourne Observatory closed in 1945 and the telescope went to the Mt Stromlo Observatory outside Canberra, where it was heavily modified for modern astronomy. After further modifications in 1984, discarded original parts were sent to Museum Victoria. Despite the severity of the 2003 bushfires, the main structures of the instrument are in tact enough for refurbishment and have joined the stored parts in Melbourne, where experts from the Astronomical Society of Victoria are restoring the telescope to working order.
The Great Melbourne Telescope project, which includes restoration of the Great Melbourne Telescope House, is a joint project between the Astronomical Society of Victoria, Museum Victoria and
the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.
[ photos: The Great Melbourne Telescope, c.1875 : by C. Nettleton, Peter Lovell Collection ]
MANUKA CIRCLE PRECINT CMP
Manuka Circle is a major thoroughfare situated south-east of Canberra's Capital Hill in one of the earliest-developed areas of the city. Its two branches enclose historically important Manuka Oval, site of many a sporting and civic event. Lovell Chen is working on a conservation management plan for the ground and its immediate precinct.
The conservation management plan covers the area bounded by Canberra Avenue, Manuka Circle and the section of NSW Crescent that divides the oval area from Telopea Park, which creates an axis to the north east. The plan is focused on clarifying the nature and extent of the precinct's heritage significance, with the aim of providing guidance for any future conservation, adaptation or development works.
Walter Burley Griffin's original scheme for Canberra included this site, although the road layout was not set. His 1913 revised plan indicated a recreation reserve inside Manuka Circle. From the beginning, this open park was used for sport and leisure activities in the early days by workers (and their families) living in nearby camps while they built the city.
In the 1920s the reserve was enlarged and levelled (shown above as it looked in 1928) to make it suitable for football and cricket, and the distinctive planting scheme was implemented that is still in evidence today. Manuka Oval is well known for its protective ring of mature trees — cyprus, poplar, oak and elm. The planting scheme was designed by horticulturalist Thomas C.G. Weston, who was in charge of afforestation in the 1910s-20s and responsible for realising Griffin's vision of a tree-filled city. Weston did extensive research on which species might flourish in Canberra.
Manuka Oval is today mostly associated with cricket and Australian Rules football. Its capacity is 13,550 spectators. The annual Prime Minister's XI cricket match, instituted in 1952 under Robert Menzies, is held here.
Included in the precinct are various notable structures, such as the original two-storey brick Caretaker's Cottage (1937) an example of Federal Capital architectural style and largely unaltered inside and out and the Jack Fingleton Scoreboard, which incorporates the front face of a scoreboard originally installed at the MCG in Melbourne.
Just outside the CMP area are a number of other broadly contemporaneous structures designed, along with the Caretaker's Cottage, by the Public Works Department. The principle architect at the time was Edwin Henderson. These include Manuka Swimming Pool (Art Deco, 1931) and Griffith Child Welfare Centre (1937), the earliest purpose-built child welfare centre in Canberra.
[ photo : Manuka Oval c.1928 : National Archives of Australia ]
[ other photos: Caretaker's Cottage, Jack Fingleton Scoreboard : Lovell Chen ]
PRINCES PARK CONSERVATION ANALYSIS
Royal Parade, Carlton North, Melbourne
In conjunction with John Patrick Landscape Architects, we have recently completed a conservation analysis report on Princes Park for the City of Melbourne. The aim of the project was to clarify and confirm the park's heritage significance.
Princes Park covers approximately 39 hectares of lightly wooded areas and open parkland with extensive tree-lined pathways. It's probably best known for its association with Carlton Football Club, whose home ground, Visy Park, is located at its heart. To the south of Visy Park are sporting fields and to the north, parkland.
The report considers all the park's various buildings and structures, except the football stadium.
Princes Park has its origins in the 1850s and 60s. The site was part of a larger reserve designated in the 1840s by Superintendent Charles La Trobe, who is thought to have been behind the idea of surrounding Melbourne with a ring of parks and gardens.
It is typical of the inner city's parks for the way its buildings and structures reflect the changing demand for various sporting and recreational activities. The earliest building is the Park Keeper's Cottage (1885), followed by a bowling and tennis club pavilion (1891, now demolished), another tennis pavilion (1926, pictured), two changing pavilions for field sports (1937) and a lawn bowling clubhouse (1959). Many of the inner parks have similar structures, dating from similar periods and built in similar styles.
Around these structures, Princes Park's original layout and pathway network are remarkably intact. Using historic aerial photography, the design of the landscape is traceable through the eras. The present park includes a number of elements from the original planting scheme, such as the three major elm avenues, the fig avenue and the red river gum plantation.
[ photos: Lovell Chen ]
RECENT PROJECT APPOINTMENTS
Lovell Chen has recently been appointed to provde heritage services for a number interesting and diverse projects that present complex challenges.
In Victoria, we have been engaged by the Department of Planning & Community Development to undertake a review of government heritage properties, and we are working on various specific sites for individual clients.
One of these is Bendigo Hospital, where we are part of Lend Lease's project team that has reached the shortlist for its redevelopment. The site includes a number of heritage buildings of varying levels of significance. In Melbourne, we are providing heritage advice on the upgrade of facilities at Preston Tram Depot for its use as a combined depot and tram workshop. In rural Victoria, near the town of Penshurst, we are carrying out a cultural landscape assessment for Penshurst Wind Farm.
In Canberra, our heritage team is working on an urban design analysis project that is exploring options for improving connections between Lake Burley Griffin and Canberra Civic.