The Seafarers precinct is being built in Melbourne, Australia. Credit: Riverlee.
The Seafarers riverfront precinct is expected to be completed in 2023. Credit: Seafarers.
The Goods Shed No. 5 will be refurbished as part of the Seafarers project. Credit: Seafarers.
The Seafarers Rest public park will provide lush and green space for the residents. Credit: Riverlee.

The Seafarers precinct is a sustainable mixed-use riverfront precinct being developed in Melbourne, Australia. Situated on the north bank of the Yarra River, the precinct will house the region’s first eco-luxury hotel and the first international hotel-branded residences.

The development will also include a lounge bar, a premium event venue, food and beverage outlets, and the Seafarers Rest public park.

The precinct is the result of a ten-year-long collaboration between developer Riverlee and architect Nonda Katsalidis.

Estimated at $500m, the mixed-use project in Melbourne is expected to create more than 1,000 construction jobs annually while the 1 Hotel is expected to generate approximately 310 full-time jobs upon completion.

The leasehold for the site was secured in 2011, and the freehold property was purchased from the state government in 2015.

On-site restoration work began in October 2020 following the state government’s unanimous and final endorsement. The project is expected to be completed in 2023.

Seafarers precinct details

The Seafarers precinct will be built by restoring the heritage-protected Goods Shed No. 5 uninterrupted riverfront structure and its electric crane, which spans 220m along the northern bank of the Yarra River.

The Goods Shed No. 5 will be refurbished to create space for the ground floor of the 277-room 1 Hotel. The shed will open onto the wharf, rejuvenating the space with world-class hospitality options inspired by Melbourne’s unique culture of cafés, bars and dining.

The residential part of the building, known as Seafarers Residences, will include 123 luxury hotel-branded residences across levels nine to 18. The residences will offer a panoramic view from the Yarra River to the Port Phillip Bay situated on the coastline of southern Victoria.

The 3,500m² lush and green Seafarers Rest public park will be situated east of the shed. The key elements of the park will be the river lawns, the play wharf, the habitat hollows, the events deck, the crates, and the urban forest.

A green space will act as a gateway to the building’s porte cochere, providing separate residential and hotel lobby entrances.

Seafarer precinct design details

The multi-residential building will feature a tripartite layering inspired by the physical and historical nature of the riverfront. It is designed to display the industrial heritage of the goods shed and amplify the flow of the river through the colour and geometries of its façade.

“A green space will act as a gateway to the building’s porte cochere, providing separate residential and hotel lobby entrances.”

The building will be realised as a sculptural jewel with tessellating geometries. The faceted exterior creates uniquely large floorplans, which have been made into expansive residences with options ranging from four-bedroom penthouses to one-bedroom residences.

The residences will be designed to allow natural daylighting and provide external views. The key elements within the residences will have a palpable connection to the waterfront, expressed through water, movement and texture.

Seafarers Residences interior details

The natural stones, contrasting materiality and reflective surfaces of the interiors are inspired by the river’s maritime legacy and the surrounding wharf. The materiality defined by reflective surfaces captures more light and bounces it around the interiors, creating the perception of water with refraction and movement.

Each apartment will be layered to form a seamless and spacious environment with the use of spatial planning.

The residences will feature the first sustainable and highly durable porcelain Snaidero Italian kitchens, apart from other features such as concealed doors, integrated joinery and single-plane flooring, which will give a feeling of expansive openness.

Contractors involved

Fender Katsalidis Architects (FKA) and Lovell Chen Conservation & Heritage Architects provided architectural services for the mixed-use development.

Carr Design was contracted to provide interior design services for Seafarer’s residences. One Design Office will undertake interior designing for 1 Hotel Seafarers.

Oculus was selected to design the Seafarer’s Rest while Freyssinet Australia and Mann Group will provide engineering services for the project.