Goods Shed No.2 – up to no good again

Equiset Grollo Group has applied for a Heritage Victoria permit for the redevelopment of southern end of the  No. 2 Goods Shed (north) at 708-710 Collins Street. The proposed works involve the part demolition of the existing Goods Shed north, demolition of the modern office at 708-710 Collins Street and construction of a 34 level tower.

Prior to the works to divide the shed into two sections in 2001, the No. 2 Goods Shed was approximately 385 metres long and the longest shed in Victoria. 

The statement of significance that was prepared before the shed was chopped in two by the Collins Street extension says: “The No.2 Goods Shed is architecturally significant as the largest and most architecturally elaborate nineteenth century railway goods building in Victoria. Its high degree of intactness clearly demonstrates traditional late nineteenth century goods handling facilities…it is historically significant as evidence of the role played by Victoria’s railways in the economic development of Victoria, and particularly to the 1880s boom. The huge scale and grand style of the building graphically illustrates the population and economic growth in Victoria during the 1870s and 1880s and the consequent increase in goods traffic.”

Summary of main demolition works to date:

  • 2001: Demolition of seven bays of the Goods Shed, construction of Collins Street extension bridge
  • 2002: Development and demolition works including construction of new staircases and elevators to the
    north and south sides of the Collins Street Bridge and demolition of four nine metre sections of side aisles
  • 2006: Construction of a three level glazed pavilion and basement car park to the northern end, and single storey pavilion structure to the southern end of No. 2 Goods Shed; installation of mezzanine floor to east and west sides of shed
  • 2013 Construction of two pavilions on the west elevation of the southern portion of the No.2 Goods Shed.

REDUCED_HIS 710 Collins Street Apr 2014

The Heritage Impact Statement justifies the application as follows:

“Three and a half structural bays of the Goods Shed No. 2 will be demolished to allow for the construction of the proposed development adding to the nine structural bays which have been removed for the Collins Street extension and associated works. In relation to the north end of the shed this will leave 14 complete bays intact with an additional partial bay at the north end and a half bay at the south.”
“Within the original 41 structural bay length of the shed the loss of three and a half structural bays will further reduce the intactness of the shed and as intactness is a factor in the assessed significance, impact on that significance. It is however an action which follows past interventions of a similar kind, which ultimately have been considered to be acceptable. The loss of additional original fabric in this context is one which needs to be considered having regard to the importance of that fabric in supporting the historical and architectural values.
While it is evident that the original fabric to be removed is intrinsic to the significance of the place, its further limited removal is not an action which will result in the significance of the Goods Shed being compromised. The shed as a whole, and the north end in particular, will retain sufficient fabric to ensure that that the scale of the original building is still readily legible and that the connection between the two halves understood.”


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