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13.09.22 All media
Melbourne Walk: Construction starts on Bourke Street retail and dual-brand hotel

Construction is underway on Melbourne Walk, an exciting mixed-use development in Melbourne’s retail heart and the first built project in Bourke Street Mall in more than 50 years.

Formerly known as The Walk, the 3,600sqm site was originally made up of eight separate buildings including Diamond House, the Public Benefit Bootery, Allan’s Building and York Building. The redevelopment will include 6,000sqm of retail and a dual-brand hotel, with IHG opening a Hotel Indigo and a Holiday Inn. The hotels will offer 450 rooms over nine levels and will sit above a three-level retail podium.

Global design studio, Buchan, is delivering the architecture and interior design for the entire project, including the hotels, for client Steadfast Capital. Buchan Project Principal David Forbes says the development is ideally located on Melbourne’s established north-south pedestrian ‘ant trail’ in one of the city’s primary retail precincts. The heritage-rich site is bound by Bourke Street, Little Collins Street, The Causeway and Union Lane and is unique in character, scale and historical context.

Lead Architect Hayden Djakic says the design respects the site’s heritage and enhances Melbourne’s permeable urban fabric. “The notion of individual building forms will be retained behind four restored facades, with the spaces between allowing natural light to penetrate deep into the site and supporting an arcade and cross lanes at ground level,” said Djakic. “Union Lane will remain true to its service lane origins, preserving the iconic graffiti street art in one of the city’s most Instagrammed locations.”

A new 9-metre-high arcade will connect Bourke Street to Little Collins and is conceived in the grand tradition of the neighbouring Royal Arcade and Block Arcade, mirroring the rhythm, volume and light-filled interiors of its much-loved nineteenth-century forebearers.

Djakic says Melbourne Walk will be enhanced by expanded dining and bar offerings including a rooftop bar overlooking Bourke Street.

Grit and glamour

Buchan Interiors Sector Lead Valerie Mack said the design of the Hotel Indigo  and Holiday Inn reflects the unique location.

“The Hotel Indigo brand has a focus on creating bespoke, local experiences with a strong sense of place. The social history of the site, with its quirky, historic retailers such as E.W Cole, Sidney Myer and James Hosie, was the starting point for our design concept,” said Mack. “The historical references permeate down to the arcade, which merges the glamour of retail with the gritty laneway culture of contemporary Melbourne to create a memorable, urban destination for hotel guests and locals alike.”

The Holiday Inn will instead focus on the joy of travel for all, complemented by warm and natural materials and textures for a ‘home away from home’ feel.

The redevelopment is targeting a 5-star Green Star Rating through the integration of key initiatives including a 450sqm native courtyard garden, a 40kw solar array, heat island effect mitigation strategies, as well the use of recycled steel and reductions in concrete. It will include one of Melbourne’s tallest façade retentions to the 100-year-old Public Benefit Bootery.

Melbourne Walk builds on Buchan’s significant portfolio of projects delivered in the Melbourne CBD across the firm’s 130-year history. Construction is being led by Hickory and is due for completion in 2024.

Buchan Design Team
Architecture – David Forbes, Hayden Djakic, Harriet O’Rielly, Lorry Foca, Branaslav Vasic, Torben Laubscher, Ajaya Silwal, Alexandra Wall, Bronwyn Murphy, Chris Mckeown, Gavin Salt, Inma Secilla, Jimmy Bolger, Mark James, Marcus Greening, Rebecca DiNapoli, Shigeta Kubo
Interiors – Emily Perkins, Marcus Chan, Valerie Mack, Emi Johnstone, Ann Dinh, Benedicta Gisela, Erminia Lastretto, Nobuyuki Ueno, Simon Brugaletta
Brand Experience – Dong Uong