Boatbuilders Yard

South Wharf



Located in the underutilised, maritime precinct of the Yarra River, this project aims to revitalise the area bringing a human scale to a harsh and intimidating open space.  The proposal was to transform the site into a new hospitality venue, The Boat Builder’s Yard, to encourage occupation of the site by both visitors to the Polly Woodside and locals from South Bank and Docklands.

To activate the new riverside walk, the project needed to negotiate a balance between the human scale and the surrounding sizeable buildings. The strategy for this was conceptually based on the Japanese model of pavilions within a naturalized landscape. The intent was to create intimacy and interest for patrons within a large setting.

Intentionally, the site is left as a permeable pedestrian zone, with multiple points of entry and the ability to traverse the site in a number of directions, encouraging people to cut through the site on their way to their actual destination.


Greg Elms
The Riverland Group
South Wharf, Victoria
2012 AIA (Vic) Urban Design Award
The Age, Nov 2012
The Age, Oct 2012
Artichoke Magazine, Aug 2012
Venue Magazine, Apr 2012
Melbourne Review, Mar 2012
The (Melb) Magazine, Jan 2012
The Age, Jan 2012
Heritage Victoria Council