As far as development goes, the Port Melbourne foreshore is pretty sparse. All flat water and low-lying scrub, the landscape is perfect for snatching unobstructed views across the bay. It is also a prime location for eye-catching sculpture.
When Cox Architecture were approached to design a pedestrian viewpoint for the Sandridge area of Port Melbourne, they decided to capitalise on the opportunity to create a form that stands out from its surroundings – an opportunity that is increasingly rare for architects working within and around urban centres.
The resulting Sandridge Lookout acts as both pedestrian viewing platform and sculptural addition to the Melbourne foreshore.
“The form of the lookout was derived as an extension to the recreated dune landscape while the prismatic forms of the tower stretch out towards the bay and seek to catch the light as one moves around it,” says Cox Architecture in a design statement.
“A restrained colour palette of hardwood decking, Corten and galvanised steel afford the observation platform and tower [to] form an austere, natural presence in the Port [Melbourne] environment, dominated by the monumental container crates [that] serve as a backdrop.”
At night, the tower is illuminated from below, lighting up the waterline and allowing the structure itself to continue to serve as a sculptural beacon, no matter the level of sunlight. At all times of day, Cox’s is a viewing platform that is a view in itself.