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A Look Inside Southbank’s Renaissance

- 13/06/2019

Since its early days as an industrial area, Southbank has been a suburb that embraces reinvention. And following record government investment, it’s about to become one of the world’s leading cultural and artistic destinations.

New public open space, tree lined streets, exceptional public art and a new theatre are just some exciting additions that will transform this burgeoning creative suburb.

We take a look at the top improvements underway in Southbank right now, and look at what this area will be like in 20 years.

More public space for Southbank

The boldest change to Southbank will be a massive make over of the outdoor environment. We’re talking the addition of outdoor performance spaces, public gardens and a new pedestrian passage through the arts precinct. That means more greenery, less cars and lots more moments to interact with art and culture outside of the precinct’s storied venues.

It’s being funded by the state government to the tune of $1.2 billion. This money will develop and repurpose key infrastructure within the arts centre precinct and breathe new life into the surrounding area - launching Southbank into a position alongside some of the world’s most famous art destinations.

The new public development is being spearheaded by Australian architectural studio Hassell in collaboration with New York-based design firm Solid Objects Idenburg Liu who have proposed 18,000 square meters of public space and have the credentials to create something truly world-class.

New cultural institutions

Southbank’s collection of 40 galleries and 17 theatres will expand even further, thanks to a bold vision that will thrust Melbourne into the position of Australia’s cultural capital.

Some of the exciting new artistic additions to Southbank include:

NGV Contemporary - An entirely new purpose-built gallery that will display local, national and internationally significant art and design. It will be Australia’s largest contemporary gallery and further elevate Melbourne’s already world-class arts status.

Performing Arts Museum - A new space dedicated to the collection, preservation, and celebration of artwork and artifacts from the performing arts world. A must for the lovers of dance and music!

1 City Road - A cutting edge creative hub that will house administrative, educational, and research facilities, as well as play home to the Australian Performing Arts Centre and other smaller independent arts organisations.

Even more public transport

Just a short walk from the epicenter of Melbourne's public transport network, residents of Southbank and Melbourne Square will enjoy another boost to the city’s already comprehensive public transport surrounds following the completion of the new Metro Tunnel.

The opening of the new Metro Tunnel will add new stations to the city and substantially decrease travel and layover time for people wanting to travel across Melbourne.

Anzac Station is one of the closest new stations to Southbank and is conveniently located under the Domain Interchange on the corner of Domain and St Kilda Roads, next to the Shrine of Remembrance and Royal Botanic Gardens.

Riverside dining on the rise

Southbank’s river promenade is one of Melbourne’s biggest fine dining hotspots, thanks to its spectacular city views and waterside location.

In exciting news for residents of Southbank and its surrounds, the diverse selection of restaurants in the area has been on a steady increase in recent years thanks to the suburb’s easy accessibility from the city.

This includes the recent addition of new eateries at Riverside Quay - just minutes from Melbourne Square, including the delicious DOC, a real slice of Italy, as well as Adado, which is by the San Telmo team. Bon appetit!

Some of the areas top food spots include:

Pure South Dining - Elegant restaurant serving Modern Australian food with a focus on Tasmanian and King Island produce.

DOC Pizza - Real Italian eating and age old simplicity refreshed with contemporary flair.

Waterfront - Sashimi, seafood platters and grilled meat served in a modern dining room with booth seats.

Ena Greek Street Food - ENA has a strong focus on using the freshest seasonal ingredients and sourcing the best cuts of meat from local Victorian suppliers

The arrival of an award-winning precinct

Population growth in Southbank is amongst some of the fastest in Victoria and there are a number of key developments taking place, none of which are more exciting than Melbourne Square.

With construction already underway, the massive six-tower residential and commercial precinct will completely revamp the entire city block with which it sits on, and deliver an awe-inspiring addition to Southbank’s bustling skyline.

Nearly 20 per cent of the area will be a dedicated public realm, available for the wider Southbank community to enjoy year on year, with other public amenities within the precinct to include a shopping centre, childcare facility and a selection of specialty stores and cafes.

You can get an aerial perspective of Southbank's renaissance by clicking here.

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