A new concept for a beach and surf park at the Central Pier in Melbourne's Docklands is currently being developed by Damian Rogers Architecture and Arup.
The proposed concept, as yet still in concept phase, would offer Melbournians a beach lifestyle in the Docklands attracting locals, tourists and major international events.
The park would feature a sandy beach and floating wave pool – with water drawn from Victoria Harbour treated to a safe swimming water standard and would be designed to world class standards, attracting users all year round.
Surfers would be able to ride waves up to 1 – 1.5m high. Designers say the size of the surf could be changed, with more experienced surfers catching a wave 160 metres long and up to 1.8 metres (six feet) high, while beginners would feel at ease on a smaller swell.
"This could enhance the Docklands by giving the public a space they will want to use and that will also attract events and businesses." Phil Carter, Urban and Transport Planner, Arup
To be created over 16,000 square metres, the new beach and surf park would literally float next to the existing Central Pier, retaining the heritage sheds and the important history of the pier where the American Fleet docked in the 1920’s when it was then known as Victoria Dock.
The design would also give non-surfers the chance to participate in a range of other activities from swimming and kayaking, to winter beach soccer under lights, shopping or simply enjoying a coffee by the water.
Brains behind the design and architect Damian Rogers of Damian Rogers Architecture says the centre of Melbourne should make better use of the water at their fingertips.
"The city of Melbourne has some amazing attractions, but we don’t tend to use the water that surrounds us as well as we could. This surf park concept would create a beach lifestyle in the heart of the city." Damian Rogers, Architect, Damian Rogers Architecture
Damian also believes it’s a plan that can redress the imbalance between Melbourne’s famous parks and gardens of old and the newer style of dense urban developments. Max Wells, Chief Executive Officer of Surfing Victoria has also lent his support to the concept.
"To bring the surf to the city is great idea, especially to a site like Central Pier in the Docklands. I can imagine having surfers in suits heading for an after work session and kids coming to the Docklands carry surfboards on Melbourne’s trains and trams." Max Wells, Chief Executive Officer, Surfing Victoria
Similar concepts have proven successful elsewhere in the world with projects like Plus Pool in New York showcasing how the community can gather around innovative and city shaping concepts.