Designs for a proposed 3500sqm public park on the northern banks of the Yarra River have emerged, providing a glimpse into what a rejuvenated Northbank precinct might look like for the City of Melbourne as part of its Open Space Strategy.

Located next to the Mission to Seafarers building on Flinders Street, the proposed design, to be known as Seafarers Rest, will pay homage to the site’s rich maritime history and incorporate flexible event, play and passive recreation spaces.

Forming part of Riverlee’s $500 million mixed-use Seafarers project, Seafarers Rest will be developed by private property developer Riverlee with the assistance of the Dept. of Treasury and Finance (DTF) and the City of Melbourne (CoM) and once complete in 2023, will be gifted back to the city to enjoy.

The proposed design by landscape architects Oculus is in response to an initial community engagement survey where close to 100 respondents in the local community shared their needs and aspirations for the new space. This included a place for rest and relaxation, as well as exercise and play, while also improving pedestrian and bicycle access.

The design is now one step closer to being approved following the endorsement from the Future Melbourne Committee last night, which will now allow council officers to commence Stage 2 of the community engagement strategy.

Riverlee Development director David Lee says Seafarers Rest provides a unique opportunity to design a new waterfront park for the city.

“The northern part of the Yarra River has been underutilised for over 40 years and in some ways, forgotten about. The proposed design seeks to inject new life and activity into the riverfront by creating a place for the community, designed by the community themselves.”

Understanding the significance of the site’s history as the most used wharf on Melbourne’s Yarra River waterfront, Seafarers Rest will look to incorporate relevant existing objects connected to the site, along with some new design elements and materials that reference the site’s past.

Image: Supplied