The Robur Tea House was built in 1887 and is today a persisting example of 19th-century architecture and one of the few remaining traces of the industrial establishments that dominated Southbank until the late 20th century.
This iconic Victorian warehouse and office building in Melbourne’s Southbank, has remained untouched by the rapid transformations of the Yarra River’s banks in recent decades. Dramatic densification has nevertheless obscured what was once the precinct’s most prominent and ambitious landmarks.
The challenge of reinstating the site’s prominence while enhancing its heritage value has been achieved by designing a series of companion buildings, creating a city within the city – with the Tea House at its heart.
Consisting of seven interconnected built forms, ranging between three and 25-storeys high, the proposal creates a vibrant and highly interwoven social landscape, with hospitality and flagship retail at the lower levels, interspersed with co-working and creative industry incubation space, and serviced and private apartments targeted at creative industry professionals at upper levels.
Publicly accessible spaces weave through the site in a series of ascending terraces connecting the ground plane to the garden rooftops of the stepped building forms.