The central vision of this design is to integrate the East West tunnel connection with City link in an under-utilized commercial fringe of North Melbourne. Located beside the Citylink Freeway and Moonee Ponds creek, the proposed site spans from Alfred Street to Macaulay road with Boundary Rd as its eastern perimeter.
The design integrates the proposed viaduct/tunnel for the link while also retaining nearby heritage buildings. It also effectively utilizes alternate programs such as a mid-sized Retail strip and a large retail outlet to act as visual & acoustic sound buffers. The design also embraces the saw-toothed grain of the existing warehouses into various aspects of the new design, thus referencing the history of the area.
Other programs within the project boundary include:
- Large Commercial precinct along Citylink Freeway and Alfred Street – a buffer program located close to the freeway which also benefits from its proximity to Flemington Road and the tram network.
- Smaller Commercial precinct along Boundary Road
- Public Gardens proposed at Alfred St.
- Neighborhood Park and playgrounds at Sutton Street (beside the new Civic hub).
- Smaller Residential Precinct along Boundary road – which benefit from proximity to the city and nearby parks. They also provide a built form transition towards the taller building envelopes closer to the freeway.
- Medium-Density Residential Precinct along Macaulay Road – located to symbiotically function with the mid-sized retail strip & promenade.
- Secondary school and Neighborhood sports centre – to demonstrate that their programmatic requirements can be met within inner-city locations. The school also acts as a landmark visual terminus to the corner of Boundary Rd, Macaulay Rd and Canning St.
At the heart of the proposal is a generous creation of a public Plaza, new Civic Hub and Parklands. Instead of the isolation of Moonee Ponds creek, the design aims to integrate it into the urban fabric of North Melbourne and Kensington by improving pedestrian links across to new public spaces on both sides. One of the parallel outcomes of doing so is the removal of the level-crossing at Macaulay Road and the sinking of the railway line (with a new Station design) to improve the connection between the suburbs of Kensington & North Melbourne.